I had an interesting conversation in a BLS class the other day with a school nurse. Her school district did not want to require, or fund, teachers taking CPR and First Aid classes. The district is actually discouraging training. Not only is this not a good idea, it actually contradicts the policies of the NH Department of Education.
I took a look at the links I have for teachers on my website and found the NH Department of Education has updated their website. So I made a few updates on my site.
The updated NH Department of Education Technical Advisory on School Health Services can be found here: http://www.education.nh.gov/standards/documents/school-health-services.pdf
The applicable updated text is on page 2. It states:
When an RN or LPN is not available to a school, at least one other person who has a current first aid and CPR certification shall be available. For clarification, the LPN scope of practice does not allow independent practice. If an LPN is working in the school, the school nurse provides supervision in the same health office or assigns LPN specific health care task of individual student based on the care plan. In order to ensure that one trained person is indeed available to students during school hours and during scheduled school activities, it may necessitate training a variety of personnel. Being available means they must be on school grounds during school hours or present at scheduled school activities so that they can provide emergency care immediately.
The preceding paragraph defines School Activities as “School Activities” are field trips, school sports events and other such gatherings that are planned for students. Medication Administration is detailed in the Ed 311.02 Medication During School Day Advisory.
The full text of the New Hampshire Code of Administrative Rules for the NH Department of Education, Ed 306.12:
Ed 306.12 School Health Services.
(a) In accordance with federal and state law, including, but not limited to, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, RSA 141-C, RSA 169-C, RSA 200:26-41, and RSA 326-B, the local school board shall require that each school provides qualified personnel to carry out appropriate school health-related activities.
(b) Each school nurse employed by a school district shall hold a current license as a registered nurse under RSA 326-B. Each licensed practical nurse or certified nursing assistant employed by a school district shall hold such current certification under RSA 326-B. If a school nurse or licensed practical nurse is not available to a school for any reason, at least one other person who has a current first aid and cardiopulmonary certification (CPR) certification shall be available.
I understand that for many school districts this is a cost issue, but it’s also a life-safety issue and liability issue. School districts and teachers have been doing more with less for years. Making it harder for them to obtain, or discouraging, to take first aid training in a time when violence has been higher than ever is just not a move in a safe direction for the students and staff, It also is in contradiction to the requirements of the NH Department of Education.