Saturday, February 04, 2012


I've had my share of trips to ER with chest pains over the past 5 years.  At this point, I can rattle off the procedures quite easily.

1.  Give brief description of pains and symptoms to intake nurse
2.  Provide medical history and personal information to same.
3.  Get an EKG
4.  Take blood pressure and temperature
5.  Take an aspirin (if I don't already have in system)  If the pains are sever, I get the nitro pill!!!
6.  Give blood and start an IV
7.  Hook up blood pressure band, temperature and heart monitor for monitoring
8.  Connect to oxygen
9.  Get a chest X-ray10.  Await a visit from the Dr. who will read all the data, ask some more questions and decide next steps.

Clearly this protocol has been developed by years of working with patients who have chest pains.  Every medical office is relying on the shared wisdom of countless medical professionals who have gone before them.  These are carefully designed steps that provide all the information possible to  make an informed decision on care for each patient.  I'm really grateful for the expertise that has been gained over the years, which gives me confidence that I will receive the exact care that I need to get better.

So, do we have the same rigorous protocols for students who come to us with academic deficiencies?

What do we do with a child who can't sound out words?
How about a child who can read aloud but not comprehend?
What do we do if a child doesn't understand place value or negative numbers?

If we haven't thought through all the data that we need to collect and the best questions to ask such students, we are leaving it up to individual teacher knowledge and experience and shortchanging those students who would benefit from the best thinking of all.

So, let's be sure to share what we know about such best practices to provide every child with a level of care that is of the highest quality.