Seizure Smart Initiative improves school-based epilepsy management

School nurses play vital roles in increasing seizure awareness educators and care managers.

Seizure Smart Initiative improves school-based epilepsy management
Seizure Smart Initiative improves school-based epilepsy management

LAS VEGAS — A nurse-led quality improvement project increased education and resources for school nurses in a large Midwestern school district with a high prevalence of epilepsy diagnoses and seizure events.

“School nurse confidence in managing students with seizures increased, seizure action plan use increased, and 88% of children's health records with new seizure diagnoses had completed documentation,” said Heather A. Brook, BSN, RN, a DNP student and staff nurse in the Neuroscience/Epilepsy Unit at the Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota in Saint Paul.

Brook and colleagues at the University of Minnesota's School of Nursing partnered with the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota to implement the Seizure Smart Schools Initiative at the 42-school district. During the 2012-2013 school year, 312 students had a seizure diagnosis and there were 514 responses to seizure events in the district.

School nurses within the district indicated a need for a standardized epilepsy training program for staff, new seizure resources and improved electronic documentation, Brook explained during a poster session at the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioner 2015 meeting.

For the intervention, 50% of school nursing staff (n=26) received two 30-minute epilepsy training sessions and RNs conduct training session with school staff in 21 schools. A standardized seizure management guideline was disseminated across the school district, electronic medical record templates were updated to improve seizure care documentation, and an epilepsy resource website was created for families within the school district.

During the implementation year, 67 students were newly diagnosed with a seizure disorder during the school year, 80% of which were documented in the electronic health record, and there were 290 more seizure responses than the previous year.

“School nurses utilized new seizure management resources, a procedural guideline, and care plan updates to play vital roles in increasing seizure awareness as educators and care managers,” Brook said.

The Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota plans to build on the success of the program and expand the project to all school districts in Minnesota and eastern North Dakota. The expansion includes plans to turn the focus towards the classroom and working with students to reduce the stigma of epilepsy.

References

  1. Brook HA. #TH-28. “Seizure Smart Schools Initiative: Improving systems for school-based management of students with epilepsy.” Presented at: NAPNAP 2015. March 11-14, 2015; Las Vegas.
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