Interview – School Nurse Northeast Independent School District in San Antonio
Diane R. answered the first question on behalf of the Northeast Independent School District
What motivated your school (or school district) to implement a stock bronchodilator policy?
Data indicated the district was experiencing 120 EMS calls for asthma symptoms during a school year. Further review indicated the reason for these calls was due primarily to the students’ experiencing asthma symptoms with no medication (Albuterol) on campus. The reasons for no medication varied; some were economic in nature, but others were due to self-carrier misplaced inhaler, empty/expired inhaler, or parents were caught off-guard during an off-season. When the nurse notified the parents and informed them of their child symptoms, the period-of-time to get to the campus with an inhaler put the child at additional risk. This was unacceptable and the district felt more could be done to start the process of reversing symptoms prior to parent arriving and/or EMS (depending on severity of student symptoms).
Additionally, the transition from CFC to HFA inhalers was fast approaching. As a result, the generic, affordable version of Albuterol was no longer going to be available. This was going to increase out of pocket costs for many of our families and create a hardship to provide that additional inhaler to the campus clinics. The district wanted to provide parents some peace of mind as they negotiated their budgets with the new, higher cost of albuterol inhalers.