Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in school-aged children, affecting 1 in every 400-500 children under 20 years of age. Students with diabetes possess the unlimited potential for academic success along with their classmates but also need the support of caring adults to guide them as they assume increasing responsibility and independence for their disease management to maintain wellness and prevent or delay complications.
HB 984 was passed in the 79th legislative session to require schools in Texas to provide consistency for the care of students with diabetes in Texas. HB 984 requires that in each school in which a student with diabetes is enrolled, the school principal shall seek school employees, who are not health care professionals, to serve as Unlicensed Diabetes Care Assistants, who will be trained to care for students with diabetes.
Since August, Christina Graham, RDN, LD, CDCES, Coordinator of Titus Regional Medical Center’s Diabetes Self-Management Education Program, has provided teaching and hands-on skill demonstrations (called UDCA Training) to approximately 240 staff members of Region 8 schools. Those that come must be able to test their blood glucose, administer insulin (by syringe and pen), know how to respond to an emergency like a low blood glucose or high blood glucose reaction, and help their student who uses an insulin pump with it amongst other skills. This is a valuable service that TRMC Diabetes Education has provided for at least 15 years for the school systems in Region 8.