247460 Injuries and Illnesses in Learners with Special Needs in School-Sponsored Career and Technical Education Programs in New Jersey, 2004-2010

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Brian Eggert, BS , Environmental and Occupational Health, UMDNJ-School of Public Health, Piscataway, NJ
Derek G. Shendell, DEnv, MPH , Environmental and Occupational Health, UMDNJ-SPH (and EOHSI), Piscataway, NJ
Stephen Marcella, MD, MPH , Epidemiology, UMDNJ-School of Public Health, Piscataway, NJ
Elizabeth G. Marshall, PhD , Epidemiology, UMDNJ-School of Public Health, Piscataway, NJ
New Jersey (NJ) students (including students with various special health care needs) may work part-time during or after school hours in school-sponsored career and technical education (CTE) programs and courses. By law, physician-treated injuries and illnesses sustained by CTE students must be reported within five days if the incident occurred at a work site on or off school property, or during travel to/from external training sites. Incident reports are collected and managed by the NJ Safe Schools Program for NJ Department of Education; the database contains ~1,770 incidents during 12/1998-9/2010.

We focused on students with special health care needs, a susceptible, vulnerable sub-group participating in school-sponsored CTE programs. Since the incident reporting form does not capture information on the nature of any disabilities of injured students, we developed three different methods to attempt to identify these particular NJ students: (1) also identified as “adults”; (2) age greater than expected for grade level; (3) with individualized education plans (IEPs). After selecting the IEP model as the most definitive, we compared IEP and non-IEP student incidents with respect to reported nature, cause, and career clusters.

For IEP students, top two ‘nature of injury' categories were cuts-lacerations and burns. The top two ‘causes of injury' were ‘struck by' and contact with temperature extremes. Interestingly, burns represented a greater proportion of reported incidents for IEP students compared to non-IEP students, and the apparent causes of burns differed significantly between the two groups; however, career clusters for the two groups of burned students were similar.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Environmental health sciences
Occupational health and safety
Public health or related education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
At the end of this presentation, members of the audience will be able to: 1. Describe the components of the NJ Safe Schools Program regarding educational training and surveillance of injury/illness to promote safety and health among secondary schools. 2. Identify the most common types of injuries sustained by NJ secondary school students with individualized education plans (IEPs) who participate in school-sponsored career, technical and vocational education courses/experiences. 3. Identify differences in the causes of burn injuries and puncture injuries for students with an IEP versus students without an IEP.

Keywords: Youth at Work, Special Needs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Dr. Derek G. Shendell, D.Env, MPH, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the School of Public Health at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). He is also on the graduate faculty of Rutgers University and a member of the Exposure Science Division of the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute (EOHSI). EOSHI is a joint institute of the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Rutgers University. He works to “bridge” science, education and policy in a multidisciplinary fashion to reduce and/or prevent environmental exposures and health effects. He focuses on community/schools-based research with local participation in planning and execution; educational trainings and materials, service and technical assistance; and, informed/evidence-based policy advocacy. His research and professional publications have focused on: school environments, including portable versus traditional, site-built school classrooms and facilities; indoor air and environmental quality in homes and office buildings; urban outdoor air quality and environment characterization, including relationships between indoor, outdoor, personal (adult, child) and in-vehicle air concentrations of fine particles and various toxic air contaminants; ventilation and energy efficiency, and linkages to student attendance; and, asthma among children and older adults. At UMDNJ School of Public Health, he is an Assistant Professor and Director of the NJ Safe Schools Program (http://www.njsafeschools.org), which includes injury surveillance, science-to-policy, communications, and many types of training for teachers and administrative professionals in secondary education (public and private) concerning safety and health. He is also the co-Director of the Center for School and Community-Based Research and Education at UMDNJ. His other prior work experience included being: • Senior Research Associate at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (11/2000-3/2004); • The California Endowment funded “Community Action to Fight Asthma Initiative’s” (8/2002-12/2005; CAFA-I) Statewide Director of Environmental Health Sciences and Education Projects (2/2004-12/2005) and the Interim Executive Director (10/2004-6/2005). In addition, he was the main technical and administrative advisor to the eight asthma coalitions in the Central California region and an interdisciplinary health policy research fellow with Fresno State University (2-12/2005). • Assistant Professor and founding faculty member of a newly accredited MPH program at the Institute of Public Health at Georgia State University (GSU) in Atlanta, GA. At GSU, he was also affiliated faculty with two programs (Non-profit Studies, Environmental Policy Studies) at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. • Finally, he attended and completed the American Lung Association’s Asthma Educator Institute in June, 2007.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.