After witnessing a student having a seizure and being disappointed by the behavior of other students in the class, Ja’Nae Hardy, a junior at Cy-Falls High School wanted to provide a solution. She created and implemented Seizure Action Team Partners (SAT Partners), a student response program that helps provide a safe environment for those experiencing seizures, to earn her Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouting.
“With so many students and only one nurse, epileptic students may be left in their peers hands temporarily,” said Hardy. “Through my project, I hope to help students become well informed about seizures so that if they witness someone having one they would have first-hand knowledge on what to do to help.”
SAT Partners would not only help the student experiencing the seizure, but provide a gap plan in the event the school’s nurse was assisting another student or coming from another location within the school.
With support from the local chapter of the Epilepsy Foundation, her school’s nurse and the school’s chapter of Health Occupations Students of America, (HOSA), Hardy set up education and training sessions to teach students how to respond if one of their peers was having a seizure. The first group of students to take the training were members of HOSA.
“By simply being a member of the HOSA program meant that they wanted to be involved in the medical field,” said Hardy. “I felt by starting with this group of students, I would be most successful in getting student participation.”
To maintain the program, the school nurse and HOSA teacher, have agreed to host SAT Partner training sessions each school year with the materials that Hardy provided them, including an overview of SAT Partners, Epilepsy information, training opportunities and resources for students with Epilepsy. Hardy also provided First Aid training tools, video training materials and several student program packets to be used by the training facilitator.
“Having a seizure can cause physical harm to the person, but having a seizure in front of your peers can lead to emotional stress as well,” said Hardy. “As a student, you are embarrassed and ashamed of what people saw and now you have to walk among them daily knowing they don't understand what happened and thought it was funny.”
Hardy hopes the program will be expanded to other schools in the Cy-Fair school district.