ASTHMA IN SCHOOLS (ENGLISH)
School nurses deal with students with chronic health conditions on a regular basis, including asthma. For asthmatic students in a high school setting, school nurse case management includes assessment, monitoring, teaching, management of surrounding environmental conditions, and pharmacotherapy, in order to prepare the student to correctly provide self-care to control their asthma symptoms. A student who is newly diagnosed with asthma may not be familiar with what their triggers are, and also may not know how to manage those triggers and symptoms. A student with a new diagnosis of asthma will need a lot of teaching in regards to symptom management and control, environments and potential triggers to avoid, and medication administration and management. They may not know the difference between rescue asthma medications and maintenance medications, and will need an ample amount of teaching to account for their knowledge deficits. For students who have physical education, an inhaler is to be used before beginning gym, in order to prevent an asthma attack.
The parent must provide an individualized Asthma Action Plan, developed by the child's physician, which provides instructions on how to prevent or manage asthma episodes. In addition to the Asthma Action Plan, an Individualized Health Care Plan is developed by the school nurse, which includes daily management and emergency care of asthma. If asthma medications are prescribed by a physician, a Thornton Township High Schools District 205 School Medication Authorization Form must be completed and turned in to a school nurse to be kept on file in the nurse's office. School nurses are to ensure students use the inhaler in accordance with the Asthma Action Plan and use a rescue inhaler before participating in physical activity. A metered dose inhaler priming chart is consulted before the student uses the inhaler for the first time or if a specific amount of time has lapsed since the inhaler was last used. Today's recommended evidence-based practice guidelines state that students are allowed to carry their inhalers during school hours. Please see the forms located in the Asthma in Schools folder for more information.