WAPS school nurses quickly respond to new legislation

WAPS school nurses quickly respond to new legislation
A woman in a jean jacked and a woman in a black top smile by a white box

Krissy Coudron, left, and Makala Geurink pose in front of the newly installed nasal naloxone kit at Winona Senior High School. 

Winona Area Public Schools employees are responsive, creative and dedicated. 

It was a working summer for WAPS school nurses Krissy Coudron and Makala Geurink, who worked together with experts from the Minnesota Department of Health to do their part at the local level to implement a law developed at the state level. 

At the last legislative session, state lawmakers passed a bill that requires every public and charter K-12 school in Minnesota to have two doses of nasal naloxone available on-site. Nasal naloxone, also known as Narcan, is a life-saving medicine that can reverse an overdose from opioids — including heroin, fentanyl and prescription opioid medications — according to the Centers for Disease Control. The drive to require the medicine in schools was led by a Twin Cities suburban mother who lost her child to substance abuse that started when he was in high school.

Coudron and Geurink worked closely with nursing colleagues at the Minnesota Department of Health to ensure safe and effective care. They had to obtain a Standing Order, a medical provider signed Condition-Specific Protocol and work with school administration to adopt a school board policy, which is working its way through the process of being formally approved. They also worked with the Steve Rummler HOPE Network for purchasing the nasal naloxone doses. 

During workshop week (the week before the school year started), the naloxone boxes were installed at each school site with the required doses of nasal naloxone. Each naloxone box includes two doses of medication, directions for use, and equipment needed for rescue measures.