Avera Medical Minute AMcK: Avera eCARE connects diabetic student to registered nurse within seconds

Published: Nov. 20, 2017 at 1:30 PM CST
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As the number of children in the United State with significant health challenges rises, so does the need to provide experienced nursing care within schools.

Avera eCARE School Health partners with K-12 school districts to provide registered nurse coverage for the entire school day – ensuring immediate response to the health care needs of every student.

Within seconds, 8-year-old Aiden Knutson is connected to an Avera eCare nurse – Aiden at school in Toronto, the nurse in Sioux Falls.

“That’s part of why we’re here buddy is we want to help you learn how to manage your diabetes so that you can do all of this stuff on your own someday,” said an Avera eCare nurse.

Like most rural school districts, there isn’t an on-site nurse at Deubrook Elementary in the small town of Toronto. So when Aiden was diagnosed with diabetes in June of 2017, his grandmother Carie Knutson worried about Aiden going back to school.

“I was like, are they going to be able to handle this and is it going to disrupt his class time and his activity level with the other kids,” said Knutson.

Deubrook Elementary principal Mitch Reid knew a higher level of care was imperative for Aiden. He says Avera eCARE made the most sense for his school.

“It definitely gives us that sense of relief. With something that’s so serious as diabetes, having someone trained is huge for us and huge for him. And now he’s not always focused on what he needs and what he’s getting. He’ll let the nurse take care of that and he can focus on his education,” said Reid.

The Avera eCARE nurse provides great comfort for Aiden’s grandmother.

“Having that eCARE service and knowing that somebody is available at any point in time, because right now we’re still in the state of learning ourselves. His blood sugars goes up and down. So having them available to answer questions or make suggestions or say you need to call the doctor because of this or that has been really nice,” said Knutson.

“For districts out there that are looking for that person, that expert for medical reasons, it really takes a lot of pressure off us,” said Reid.

“They help me get my shot and they tell me how much I need sometimes,” said Aiden.

One of Knutson's main concerns was whether her grandson's diabetes would deter him from doing activities other kids his age were doing.

“It’s just the opposite. You do everything you can to possibly make it available so that he can still be a kid,” said Knutson.

Not only does Deubrook Elementary utilize the Avera eCARE nurse for Aiden, but they also use it for everything from bumps and bruises to fevers.

For more information about Avera eCARE, just call 877-AT-AVERA.