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Rachel:  I am a special education teacher at a charter school in Texas and have a new student in my class with a severe physical disability, wheelchair bound and non-verbal. Part of her personal care services are that she is fed twice a day through her GI button. We do not have a school nurse on our campus although I have advocated for one. Are teachers responsible for feeding or is it the school’s responsibility to hire a school nurse? I feel very overwhelmed with this task given that the only training I have received is instruction from her dad. I want what is best for my student and her family so that she can be successful and comfortable at school and for her family’s peace of mind that this school is equipped to care for her.

  1. Check into your state’s nursing practice act. In many states it it illegal for non nurses to give tube feedings.

  2. Rachel, This child’s IEP team needs to come up with a feeding plan that everyone is comfortable with. You need to request a copy of your district and school policies for feeding.

    The child’s doctor should provide a written description of the child’s needs and who can meet those needs. Feeding tubes get pulled out. What is your district’s replacement tube policy? What is the emergency plan?

    Your school can do what other schools do – hire a nurse or a health aide who is trained to manage feeding tubes.

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