Teachers throughout the region recently headed back to the classroom themselves, switching roles to learn how to properly care for their students who have diabetes.

More than 30 educators and school personnel from throughout the Coastal Bend participated in the diabetes care training class provided by the Texas A&M Health Science Center Coastal Bend Health Education Center.

"For students with diabetes, you have to be proactive," said Catherine Oliver, health education coordinator for the Texas A&M Health Science Center Coastal Bend Health Education Center. "You have to think ahead as to what may happen, because the students are exercising more than normal, or because they haven't eaten as much as they should."

Oliver says that in many instances teachers may misinterpret a student's diabetic symptoms with misbehaving, which is why this training - required by House Bill 984 - is so critical for teachers, school nurses and other school personnel who will become unlicensed diabetes care assistants upon successful completion of the class.

Participants learned the importance of following individual health plans, how to monitor glucose levels, test urine for ketones and administer glucagon and insulin injections through hands-on skills sessions.

There will be three more sessions for teachers, school nurses and school personnel on Oct. 21, Nov. 18 and Feb. 17. Teachers who are interested may call (361) 857-2945 to register.