Should teachers be allowed to administer emergency care? - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Should teachers be allowed to administer emergency care?

Posted: May 17, 2018 3:27 PM Updated:

Would you allow your child's school teacher or staff to provide immediate emergency care at school? For now, that practice is against the law. But, we could see that change, soon? Legislation proposing to authorize teachers to provide care like administering medication to students went up for a public hearing today. The discussion included passionate testimony from a mother and young girl in support of the measure. They say the time to act on it is now.

Immediate treatment for our youngsters in school. Education and healthcare officials along with others speaking out on Bill 224. The measure - the student health services act - would authorize delegation of student health services to school employees under specific circumstances. The current law doesn't for allow it.

Julietta                 Quinene, DOE Community Health and Nursing Services Administrator, said, "Will help us to address the health needs of our students while in our care during a school day."

Majority testifying in favor, but with some lingering questions. Ken Leon Guerrero with Guam Citizens for Public Accountability said, "As we see the chronic disease rates escalating down into the younger children, we are going to have more situations where access to life saving medications in a very timely fashion is going to be the difference between life or death."

Marlene Carbullido, a registered nurse and the acting admin for health professional licensing office/acting admin for EMS Office, said, "Who will be regulating the practices of these individuals that are unlicensed? Our question is - is the physician, the APRN, RN, or LPN going to be held liable for the actions or inactions of the health service technician, or school employee that resulted in an adverse event requiring disciplinary action."

The bill's author, Senator Mary Torres says it does address liabilities. But, it was Amanda Young's story that set the tone of the hearing, noting, "As a parent you can say no, and so can the nurse, and so can anyone deemed fit so it's not just anyone."

KUAM met Amanda and her daughter, Evie, last summer. Amanda telling senators how they found out about Evie's condition fours year ago. About the time Evie was getting ready to graduate from Kindergarten. "Instead she was in the pediatric ward of GMH in a coma fighting for her life and fight she did. She woke up in time to join her peers for her promotional and her awards but she also woke up to a whole new life with a diagnosis of a chronic incurable life threatening disease," said Young.

Evie has type one diabetes. The years following would be an adjustment for all involved in this little girl's life. Amanda even opening up to senators about a second scare that occurred, while Evie was at school, saying, "Until the day an emergency happened and a scenario we didn't account for - I had gotten that call - the one parents dread. Mrs. Young, Evie is fine but she did have an emergency."

Evie's glucose levels dropped tremendously. The school nurse - across the campus - was unable to respond immediately, as they had been assisting with another emergency. "The staff could only keep watch as they waited for her to arrive with emergency assistance. Our daughter was minutes away from falling into seizure and potentially fatal coma. Time is of the essence in receiving these life treatments," she said.

Now, this mother and daughter are hopeful the law is changed, so that students like Evie can concentrate more on what's happening inside the classroom. Evie Young, elementary school student, saying, "It would make me feel safer in school and my parents and nurse won't be as worried when they are away from me."

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