Mashpee Latest Cape School District To Approve Narcan in Nursing Supplies

CCB MEDIA PHOTO Three nurses for the Mashpee School District speak to the school committee about allowing them to order and administer Narcan, a nasal spray that can reverse an opiate overdose.

Three nurses for the Mashpee School District, from left, Jennifer Moses of Quashnet Elementary School, Stacey Schakel of K.C. Coombs Elementary, and Joyce O’Connor of Mashpee High School/Middle School, speak to the school committee about allowing them to order and administer Narcan, a nasal spray that can reverse an opiate overdose.

MASHPEE – Along with EpiPens, Tylenol and band-aids, Mashpee public school nurses will soon have Narcan among their emergency medical supplies.

Narcan is the nasal spray that revives people who have overdosed from using heroin or other opiates.

The three school nurses are in favor of the request and went before the Mashpee School Committee last week for approval.

Stacey Schakel, the nurse at the K.C. Coombs Elementary School, said, Narcan would just be one of the supplies available in the nurses’s emergency to go kits.

“We also have emergency asthma medication, EpiPens, . . . and our AEDs and our CPR supplies. It would just be another tool in our kit, should it be needed,” she said.

Schakel said the nurses were preparing to attend a day-long school nurses conference on opioid training.

“We’re anticipating coming back with more information, data, feedback and suggestions,” she said.

Mashpee High School/Middle School nurse Joyce O’Connor said it is important for people to understand why the matter is being considered.

“The addiction climate is well-known to everyone and it’s no different in Mashpee than it is statewide. We’re at a point to not address a potential addiction health crisis in a way in which we address a cardiac crisis or a life-threatening allergy crisis at this point to me wouldn’t be responsible for the population that we serve,” O’Connor said.

She said Narcan can save minutes when it comes to oxygen deprivation.

“We’re all clinicians. We’re well versed in this area. We can make critical assessments as to whether it would be warranted or not,” she said.

She said state health officials are encouraging Narcan training for all schools in the commonwealth.

Mashpee joins the school districts of Falmouth, Sandwich, Barnstable and Martha’s Vineyard, as well as Cape Cod Regional Technical High School, on the Cape and 75 school districts across the commonwealth that have Narcan in stock for school nurses to either train with or to use.

Mashpee Superintendent of School Brian Hyde said the request brings up a host of issues, including protocols, practices, liabilities, negotiations with the union, and storage of the supplies.

“I think it’s a decision that we have to be thoughtful and specific on issues that may come up,” he said.

Hyde researched how the other districts on the Cape deal with the issue.

“Of the 16 or so districts currently on Cape Cod, three do currently store and/or administer Narcan. My fear is the safety of my nurses—our nurses,” he said.

He mentioned safety of the nurses because sometimes people who have been revived with Narcan turn violent upon waking up.

School committee members asked whether Narcan would be used just on students who overdose or whether it could be used on parents or others on school property.

The nurses said that just as they help to treat anyone who falls ill on school property, Narcan could be used for anyone.

But they said any evidence of an overdose would be immediately reported to first responders. Having the

Having Narcan on hand in the case of a life-threatening overdose is to try to save someone when moments count, Schakel said.

School Committee member George Schmidt, who brought the issue to the school committee’s attention, said addiction is a disease and he hopes in the future the region can look to treatment instead of incarceration.

“We’re dealing with a disease. I would like to see it decriminalized in town. But that’s a subject I’ll pass on to our board of selectman representative and our town manager,” he said.

The Mashpee School Committee voted permission for the nurses to order Narcan and to train to use it.

The nurses will return to the school committee with suggestions on the policy for Narcan use.


Speak Your Mind

737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Contact Us | Advertise Terms of Use 
Employment and EEO | Privacy