School Nurses’ Comfort With Diabetes Management and Technology From 2012 to 2019
Objective. School nurses are integral to optimizing diabetes management for students with type 1 diabetes. The aim of this study was to describe the use of diabetes technology in schools over time and assess school nurses’ comfort level performing diabetes management tasks.
Study design. From 2012 to 2019, school nurses who attended a diabetes education program completed a survey about their experience and comfort level with diabetes management.
Results. A total of 1,796 school nurses completed the survey; 56% had at least 5 years of school nursing experience. Most (86%) had at least one student with type 1 diabetes. Among school nurses with at least one student with type 1 diabetes, 73% had at least one student using insulin pump therapy, and 48% had at least one student using continuous glucose monitoring (CGM). There was no change in pump use over time, but the percentage of nurses who had a student using CGM increased significantly from 24% in 2012 to 86% in 2019 (P <0.001). School nurses’ comfort level using pumps remained stable over time. Overall, 47% reported being mostly/very comfortable giving boluses using a pump, and 17% reported being mostly/very comfortable troubleshooting problems with a pump. However, there was a significant increase in school nurses reporting feeling mostly/very comfortable working with CGM devices, increasing from 9% in 2012 to 44% in 2019 (P <0.001).
Conclusion. School nurses are an integral part of diabetes management for school-aged youth with type 1 diabetes. There is a need for additional diabetes education and support to build their confidence with diabetes management and technology, especially with further technological advancements in management.