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Training session educates school nurses about students' mental health, detecting signs of substance abuse

The training comes as school nurses are seeing more health emergencies related to substance use and mental health.

News 12 Staff

Jan 26, 2023, 11:01 PM

Updated 481 days ago

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School nurses from throughout the Hudson Valley gathered in Tarrytown Thursday for a training session on students' mental health and substance abuse.
The training comes as school nurses are seeing more health emergencies related to substance use and mental health.
Student Assistance Services Corporation Executive Director Ellen Morehouse said nurses are feeling overwhelmed.
"We wanted to update them on what to do and how to manage those kids," she said,
This month alone, News 12 reported on two school incidents. New Rochelle High School nurses had to use Narcan to revive a student. In Dutchess County, Arlington High School was put on hold in place after officials said a student was in crisis, acting disorderly before being restrained.
Medical experts from all over the Hudson Valley shared at the training session how school nurses can respond to emergencies in schools.
"This is the nurses taking initiative and learning even more skills in how to protect their students," said emergency medicine physician and medical toxicologist Laura Fil.
Over 70 school nurses revisited how to assess symptoms and signs a student might present.
"In terms of how they look, what their skin looks like, and do the things that we're trained to do, like vital signs and look at their pupils, are they vomiting?" explained school nurse Meri Sirkin, of the Leffell School.
The training was thorough to make sure nurses know how to correctly take action when a student may be feeling too sick.
"Even if we don't know what the exact ingestion is, we can categorize it and take the next step," Fil said.
Nurses were also trained on how to administer Narcan.


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