Should teachers have first aid training?

  1. Hello. I just returned from my daughters Spring Concert. The parents arrive 30mins early so the kids can rehearse before they perform. While we waited for what seemed like forever, a couple of women were talking behind me. My husband would say I was "ear hustling," anyhow - they were talking about a girl having a seizure in class and lady B words were, "If the teachers had some sort of first aid training the outcome would have been better." Then the ladies debated on the issue. What is your view on this? I don't have any school nurse experience, I know at my daughters school there is only one school nurse. I dont know how fast the school nurse can be notified, or if she is handling something else how is she found for emergencies? Should teachers have first aid training or an inservice on common emergency incidents in children? Are teachers required to be CPR certified? Now I'm curious of others opinions on this.
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    16 Comments

  3. by   AgentBeast
    I know that when I was completing my BSEd part of the curriculum included becoming CPR/Basic First Aid certified and the education degree I was pursuing at that time wasn't even a prelicensure program. About 3 years after I graduated they added a second degree track one track was more industry oriented the other was for people interested in becoming teachers. That being said teachers should have some basic first aid training.
  4. by   Bobbkat
    I used to be a teacher. CPR and first aid was required. That being said, just because someone went through the class doesn't mean they would actually be prepared to use the training if an emergency actually presented itself.
  5. by   damrcngrl95
    With the type of students being "mainstreamed" I would recommend it. I have had my CPR and went to extra classes to help my students that had special needs that required me to understand their situation. I went to a class to learn how to help my diabetic student. I learned about care plans and how to give insulin if needed. We couldn't take our nurse on field trips and so I went to the class. What the class taught me was that I didn't feel I was properly prepared to deal with a diabetic emergency. I made sure that I kept up with his plan and kept an eye on him for any early signs. I did not want to have to give him insulin. We also had an epileptic student and the first aid training helped with how to deal with her until the nurse arrived.
    So I guess my over all answer is that having that extra person who can be there until the nurse arrives should be helpful, but if they don't react properly it is worthless training.
  6. by   ckh23
    I don't see how it could hurt, but as someone else said just because they are certified doesn't determine how they will act when an emergency arises. As far as the girl having the seizure, having someone certified in first aid wouldn't have improved the outcome. For that you need a higher level of care and training.
  7. by   kythe
    I do think first aid training is a good idea for everyone, but I doubt it would affect a person's ability to deal with seizures, or many other emergencies for that matter. Teachers have a great amount of pressure put on them over students' grades, behavior, etc, and all with increasingly lower budgets to work with. On top of that, many schools no longer employ school nurses at every school, replacing some of the nurses' duties with unlicensed, uncertified "health aides". Considering all of this, blaming a teacher for the mismanagement of a student's health problems seems unreasonable.
  8. by   damrcngrl95
    Quote from kythe
    I do think first aid training is a good idea for everyone, but I doubt it would affect a person's ability to deal with seizures, or many other emergencies for that matter. Teachers have a great amount of pressure put on them over students' grades, behavior, etc, and all with increasingly lower budgets to work with. On top of that, many schools no longer employ school nurses at every school, replacing some of the nurses' duties with unlicensed, uncertified "health aides". Considering all of this, blaming a teacher for the mismanagement of a student's health problems seems unreasonable.
    I agree with all of this. I felt a great amount of pressure with my diabetic student because if something went wrong I was responsible. I would be the one they threw under the bus when it was all said and done. The school nurse and I talked about this and she agreed that it could end up not being a good situation. As far as seizures went, we were only to make sure the student was out of the way of things that could hurt her, but we were not to do anything to stop her from moving. Just monitor and get the nurse. She had seizures several times a month and it was pretty tense for the class. The other thing that people don't think about is that everything that she had just learned was gone. I taught her the same math concept that she had just mastered like 4 different times. I just thought it was very interesting. I loved working with her and she was such a great student. I felt bad for her because even though she was smart she really struggled.
  9. by   Nurse_Ziba
    We have Individual Health Plan for students who are known to have certain health conditions such as asthma, seizures, allergies, etc. Teachers and staffs who handle these students undergo first aid training with regards to the health needs of the student.

    All school employees receive a crisis response manual at the beginning of the school year. It contains emergency contact numbers, communication tree, medical emergency response per scenario (field trip, during school hours, sporting event, and dormitory), earthquake plan, bus attack, bus accident, fire exit and evacuation plan, and bomb threat.

    We have two clinics in school, I handle the ELC building and it takes me less than 2 minutes to respond since it's a small building. For the main building, it takes them 3-5 minutes to respond.

    I think there is nothing wrong with training the teacher's first aid. It's better to know first aid and not need it, than to need it and not know it.
  10. by   Sart45
    As a public school art teacher for many years I was required to complete CPR/First Aid training; it was part of my job description. It was also required for the P.E. Teacher; classroom teachers who had students with special health needs were given direct instructions from the District Nurse (there were no school nurses...just "clinic aides")
  11. by   NamasteNurse
    as a former teacher in 2 states I can tell you that they are not made to have CPR or first aid, but I think it's a great idea!
  12. by   Nursing_Chic
    My sister is a pre-K teacher and she carries around epi-pens for her allergie students. My sister was not required to have any first aid training, CPR, or epi pen instructions. In fact I had to teach her how to use one! Oh and whats worse is there is no school nurse
  13. by   mama_d
    I think it would be a good idea, though I have to agree that it wouldn't have helped a kid who was seizing...it's not like basic first aid could help that, ya know?

    I'm pretty sure that the teachers at my kids' school are all BLS at least...they had a teacher code in the cafeteria a few years ago and they were rotating off with CPR while the nurse handled the AED. And from what one of my sons says, his teacher can wield a pretty mean EpiPen, as she's had to use one at least once a month this year (apparently middle school is where kids who have done without their whole lives suddenly decide that there's no way just one peanut M&M could really hurt them). Also have several diabetics and asthmatics, as well as some severely impaired mainstreamed kids (trachs, O2, uncontrolled seizures, etc).

    I'm so glad that our school district has never even thought about not having school nurses. The larger schools (generally middle and high schools) even have clinic aides who work with the nurse to make sure that everything is running smoothly.
  14. by   Heidi the nurse
    The big problem is money. If the district requires it, they have to pay for it.

    In the district I work for, our special ed teachers are required to have it. We also have a list of CPR and first aid card holders in the office in the case of an emergency. This year we got a grant for AED's so at least anyone in the building will be able to deal with that situation.

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