Rep. Amore bill on care for medically-fragile students heard in committee
STATE HOUSE – Rep. Gregg Amore’s (D-Dist. 65, East Providence) legislation (2017-H 5327) that would establish standards of practice for school nurses who provide one-on-one care for medically-fragile students was heard in the House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare Wednesday night.
“Unfortunately, this legislation is needed to protect our students with serious medical conditions because some school districts are trying to save money by contracting nurses without proof of adequate training and experience to care for students with serious and complex medical needs in our public schools,” said Representative Amore. “God forbid, but, if a medically-fragile student experiences a life-threatening incident in school, the attending nurse must have the training, skills, and one-on-one experience to notice the non-verbal and physical cues to quickly identify and handle a medical crisis. Cutting corners and cost-saving is no excuse to put our children in danger.”
The bill proposes three important changes to the education statute that pertains to educating and caring for children with exceptional healthcare needs. The legislation would require all nursing agencies that contract with the state’s public schools to be properly licensed to provide nursing services in Rhode Island. It would also require that these nursing agencies be accredited by a national accreditation authority to deliver high-quality healthcare. Lastly, the bill would grant parents and legal guardians the right to choose the nurses and providers that deliver healthcare to their medically-fragile students in the school setting.
“Every child in Rhode Island has the right to a safe educational environment and that most certainly includes our students who suffer from serious and potentially life-threatening medical conditions,” added Representative Amore. “As legislators, our goal is to preserve taxpayers’ dollars but that cannot come at the cost of putting our most medically-vulnerable children at risk in our public schools.”
For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903