WALNUT RIDGE, Ark. (KAIT) - Last week, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced a new program training school nurses to fight the opioid crisis.
On Friday, Region 8 News spoke with Stephanie Nichols, a registered nurse for the Walnut Ridge School District.
She said the new program is a great idea that could save lives.
The program plans to train school nurses on how to administer Naloxone, a life-saving medication that blocks the effects of opioids if someone overdoses.
The program will also provide school districts with Naloxone kits.
With the opioid crisis hitting even in Region 8, Nichols said having these kits in schools and having proper training could be as important as other training and certifications for nurses.
“As school nurses, we are on the front lines here at school. I think this is a great program, just like teaching our staff CPR, having AED’s and having ‘stop the bleed’ kits,” said Nichols.
Gov. Hutchinson mentioned in his announcement of the program that Arkansas ranked highest for the percentage of students grades 9-12 who took pain medication without prescription.
Nichols said these kits would allow nurses to act quickly if the need ever arose for them to use the Naloxone.
Nichols also said that talking with parents and staff about opioid addiction is an important step in preventing addiction.
Walnut Ridge School District expects to have their kits by the beginning of the school year.