Scary Example of Why Teachers Need Medical Emergency

Written by Terri Brinston
July 13, 2023
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True story: A friend of mine is a nurse working in a public school as a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA), Vocational Instructor. Very similar to what I do. We often get together for dinner to collaborate and destress after a long week. This particular evening she called me to request that we meet ASAP. It was a littlee out of character because I am usually the one tracking her down for our destress dinner. I was able to rearrange my schedule, and I agreed to meet with her that evening

Good Intentions Without Proper Training is Dangerous

At the restaurant, my friend appeared quite disturbed as she recalled the events of her day. With tears in her eyes, she explained how her morning started with a distress call from a member of her school security, informing her that a student had passed out in the hall and her immediate attention was required. Did I mention she is not the “school nurse”? She is a CNA instructor who happens to be a Nurse.

Well, of course, she rushed to the student, that is just what we do
. When she arrived, she was greeted with a terrifying sight. The child was visibly unconscious with no movement, and a teacher was holding the child in her arms while pouring pop into her mouth. Yes, she was pouring liquids into the mouth of an unconscious child. Ok, there are so many things wrong with that, but pulmonary aspiration (choking) is up there as my top concern. Unfortunately, I have experienced similar situations many, many times. 

This event
underscores the need for our teachers to receive training designed to equip them to adequately and confidently respond to the physical, social, and emotional health needs of students. In this particular situation, the staff was aware that the child had diabetes. So the teacher did have a clue regarding the child’s medical issues. She knew that this child needed some type of sugar to make her better. But her methods could have killed the child. In no way am I implying that she was responding with malicious intent. Her actions were pure desperation to help this obviously distressed child. Gladly, 911 was called, and my friend was able to assist and prevent a catastrophic ending

Teachers are not Medical First Responders

Yes, it was a close call; believe me, it happens more than you could imagine. Children get sick and well-intending, responsible adult tries to help! It happens every day in our schools across AmericaSchool staff jumps in because they deeply care for our children. School staff is pouring their hearts and souls into our future generation every day, but the main reason they help is that they have a duty of care. It is a very stressful and difficult job, which is why administrators must provide teachers with the necessary skills to relieve some of the stress. Teachers are teachers, not medical first responders. Their chosen field was to educate our children. But when a child has a medical issue, school staff must respond because they must do so

eachers and school staff are not medical professionals, yet they are frequently exposed to medical emergencies. They need yearly training to ensure they are equipped to adequately support a child when needed. Even medical professionals are required to seek consistent recertifications and assure they have current protocol training to secure their ability to efficiently and successfully provide quality care. Keep in mind this certification is on top of the many hours of competency training, and evaluations, which is to be expected because they must care as medical professionals. As a minimal requirement,  school policies must be developed to assure yearly training for all teaching staff and basic first aid training for all support staff.

How Do Your School Health Policies Stack Up?

When parents send their children to school, they are entrusting us with their most prized possession
and we are legally required to be worthy of that trust. In most cases
, school districts are doing amazing things with the resources that have been given to assure the safety of our children. But as an administrator, consider reviewing your policies as it pertains to staff receiving basic medical emergency and first aid training. Here are some questions to consider:


1. Do you have a policy addressing staff training? Are your staff aware of the policy?
Do you keep a list of staff who has received training, along with the training title, the dates of the training, and provider certifications?
3. Do you have a policy on the frequency of training requirements? 
Do you have an emergency response plan in place? 
Do you know what training you should provide for your staff? 
Do you have a Health and Wellness advisory committee in place? 

You are not alone. If you’d like to learn more about the best way to assure that your staff is equipped with the necessary skills to support your students medical needs, schedule a 15minute call with us today.

Understanding the MHSAA Requirements: A Coach’s Responsibility

All varsity, junior varsity, and 9th-grade head coaches are mandated to maintain a valid CPR certification, a requirement tracked by the school athletic director. This certification is on par with meeting risk management course requirements for assistant and sub-varsity coaches. The Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) requires athletic directors to confirm these certifications each season through

Failure to meet these requirements before the specified deadlines can have significant consequences. Coaches who fall short risk being prohibited from coaching in that season’s MHSAA tournament for their respective sports. Furthermore, they won’t be allowed to be present at the facility where the tournament involving their sports team is held.

Comprehensive Solutions for CPR Certification with My School Nurse

Navigating these requirements can be a daunting task for athletic directors and coaching staff. Enter My School Nurse, a pioneering solution dedicated to making CPR certification seamless and convenient for high school coaches.

Convenient Training

My School Nurse understands the demanding schedules of coaches. Our CPR training programs are tailored to your team’s availability, ensuring minimal disruption to your coaching staff’s busy calendar. We bring the expertise directly to your location, making the certification process convenient and efficient. We also provide blended learning options. An approach that combines online with physical place-based classroom methods. This reduces training scheduling time.

National Outreach

While we specialize in meeting the specific requirements set by MHSAA, we encourage athletic directors in other states to review their individual state requirements. My School Nurse extends its comprehensive on-site and blended learning CPR training services nationwide, ensuring that coaches across the country can benefit from our expertise

Conclusion: Prioritize Safety with My School Nurse

In the fast-paced world of high school sports, ensuring the safety of both athletes and coaches is non-negotiable. My School Nurse not only facilitates compliance with MHSAA regulations but also extends its commitment to safety and well-being to coaches nationwide. Schedule your on-site CPR training with My School Nurse today and prioritize safety on and off the field.

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