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Sam's Law

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by ruby_jane ruby_jane, BSN, RN (Member) Nurse

ruby_jane has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing.

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Nurses in Texas-

Does anyone know the backstory on Sam's Law? It's a new legislative requirement that we attend specialized training on "recognizing seizures" and that the teachers who have kids with seizure disorder attend similar training. My brief look at the material indicates that this is exactly what I'm teaching in our district-required courses.

From what I read, the student without a known seizure disorder had a seizure and died. But I can't for the life of me figure out how that went unnoticed, or why a nurse or athletic trainer wasn't looped in.

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OldDude specializes in Pediatrics.

6 Followers; 1 Article; 29,117 Visitors; 4,768 Posts

I have not heard of the law or the incident...This is from an Amarillo newspaper last February. I've yet to get a more detailed account of what happened.

But yes, as far as I'm concerned, this seizure action plan training has been ongoing for years; including relevant staff.

"Samantha Watkins was an 18-year-old from Kilgore, making a name for herself in school and on the soccer field, until her senior year where she died just three months after her epilepsy diagnosis.

"She was a senior, beautiful senior in high school and she had a massive seizure and she went into a coma and in December 2016, she passed away,” said Claudia Crunelle, an epilepsy advocate. “So this inspired everything."

Very sad...

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ruby_jane has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing.

3 Followers; 8,292 Visitors; 2,287 Posts

Even my teachers who aren't the brightest lights on the tree are going to be able to recognize a massive seizure. I wish I had more details....

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NRSKarenRN has 40 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

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New Bill Would Help Students Who Have Seizures

Quote

The bill is named after Samantha Watkins, an 18-year-old Kilgore high school student athlete who died after a massive seizure at home in December of 2016. She had her first seizure on Labor day of that year while working as a camp counselor.

 

Sam's Law (HB 684) passed Senate May 14th, waiting governors signature.

Quote

 

Sec. 38.032.  SEIZURE RECOGNITION AND RELATED FIRST AID

 TRAINING. (a)  A school nurse employed by a school district must

 complete an agency-approved online course of instruction for school

 nurses regarding managing students with seizures that includes

 information about seizure recognition and related first aid.

        (b)  A school district employee, other than a school nurse,

 whose duties at the school include regular contact with students

 must complete an agency-approved online course of instruction for

 school personnel regarding awareness of students with seizures that

 includes information about seizure recognition and related first

 aid.

 

 

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pennyeary has 2 years experience as a CNA.

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What training site are you using for your staff?  Is this effective for the 19-20 school year?  Trying to get all my ducks in a row for next year.

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ruby_jane has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing.

3 Followers; 8,292 Visitors; 2,287 Posts

42 minutes ago, pennyeary said:

What training site are you using for your staff?  Is this effective for the 19-20 school year?  Trying to get all my ducks in a row for next year.

Epilepsy Foundation of Central and South TX but many people have had difficulty getting in. I'm not even going to attempt it until I renew my license over the summer (I want those CE's for next cycle!!!)

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pennyeary has 2 years experience as a CNA.

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Yes I have struggled for 2 days trying to get in to that website.  Last day with kids but I am here another 2 weeks I have time to figure it out.

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9,310 Visitors; 1,094 Posts

Our district uses Safe Schools for most of our trainings - maybe check there to see if they have some on seizures???

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ruby_jane has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing.

3 Followers; 8,292 Visitors; 2,287 Posts

44 minutes ago, AdobeRN said:

Our district uses Safe Schools for most of our trainings - maybe check there to see if they have some on seizures???

The thing is - it has to be "an approved training." I am sure Safe Schools WOULD qualify, but as often happens, the Leg passed a "no funding attached" rule and we're cleaning up after it.

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NRSKarenRN has 40 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

5 Followers; 10 Articles; 159,969 Visitors; 14,481 Posts

3 hours ago, pennyeary said:

What training site are you using for your staff?  Is this effective for the 19-20 school year?  Trying to get all my ducks in a row for next year.

"SECTION3. Not later than December 1, 2019, the Texas Education Agency shall approve online courses of instruction to satisfy the training requirements of Section 38.032, Education Code, as added by this Act.

SECTION 4. The change in law made by this Act applies beginning with the 2019-2020 school year."

 

Typical that legislators have statute start PRIOR to approval  of required  instruction courses by  TX education agency,

Safe schools is on list TEA-approved CPE providers list

 

 

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Kallie3006 has 7 years experience as a ADN and specializes in Surgical, Home Infusions, HVU, PCU, Neuro.

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Sam was working as a camp counselor for children with special needs over Labor Day weekend in 2016 where she hit her head on a bunk bed and that caused her to have a seizure.  This seizure was the first one she had and was healthy in all other aspects.  She was involved in sports, active in her community and church and had a special imprint she left on all she met.

In the early morning of December 1st Sam suffered a grand mal seizure in her home where she was then taken to a hospital about 20 minutes from Kilgore where she remained in ICU.  The grand mal seizure deprived her brain of oxygen, rendering her brain dead, and was taken off of life support on Dec 3 where she passed away with her family at her side.

Sam's family followed through with Sam's wishes on her being an organ donor, something of which she registered herself as when she turned 18.  Sam was able to continue to bring happiness and joy into people's lives even when hers was completed, something of which her family takes great pride and honor in.

Sam's mother is a teacher in a town near Kilgore and wanted to ensure that those that come into contact with children are able to respond appropriately to those children who have been diagnosed with epilepsy.   Sam's family only had a couple of months of her diagnosis before she had the seizure that claimed her life.  Sam's family wanted to do something to positive from something so tragic and unexpected.  

I hope this helps answer some of the questions you had on the story on Sam's Law.  

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