Objective The aim of the study was to analyse the organization of nursing care provided for disabled children in special education institutions.
Methods The research involved nurses employed in 36 special education institutions in 2006/2007 in the area of North-West Poland. The organization of work was analysed on the basis of specially constructed questionnaire. The questionnaire included questions about educational background of people providing preventive care services for pupils, their working hours per week, a number of pupils in a school, cooperation with parents and specialists employed in an institution.
Results The average working time of nurses employed in special education institutions was 16 hours and 12 minutes per week. In the group of nurses examined, 69% persons have completed qualification and 5% specialty courses. Nurses cooperate mainly with speech therapists, educationalists, psychologists, rehabilitators, specialists in surdo-pedagogy and oligophreno-pedagogy. However, they attended meetings with parents very occasionally (8%) and rarely participated in staff meetings (8%), 29% of the respondents met with parents exclusively in case of emergency.
Conclusions Nurses’ working time in special education institutions is insufficient according to the norms of work organization. Not all nurses working with disabled pupils have the required qualifications. Moreover, they do not fully use the possibility of cooperation with families of disabled pupils and specialists in the therapeutic team.