Deputies Train Harford School Nurses To Detect Impairment

This month, members of the Harford County Sheriff's Office trained school nurses in how to tell whether a student is under the influence.

When is it alright for a police officer to drink on the job?

Some might say never, but earlier this month off-duty deputies helped train school nurses on how to tell if students have been drinking—using themselves as test subjects.

The police drank various amounts of alcohol and nurses practiced conducting sobriety tests and taking medical measurements on them. The assessments included checking for involuntary eye movements as well as balance and coordination tests.

According to Lt. Carl Brooks, the officer who conducted the training, involuntary eye movement is an effective indicator of alcohol-related impairment; it's effective about 77 percent of the time.

Nurses won't be able to arrest students they catch drinking, but being able to identify an impaired individual is important for the safety of teens.

"This is not about enforcement, this is about health," said Mary Nasuta, nursing coordinator for the .

The one-day training session was held at Harford Community College and each participating test subject was provided a ride home.

Whip Filmore November 20, 2011 at 11:56 PM
how much is this costing our school system? why are we wasting money on programs like this? I say everyone is given the same lot in life and if they dont know what to do with it and they turn out a bum then its they're own fault. whyy does the government need to be giving out handouts for everything thes days? if you have never heard of the tea party i suggest you look into it. we have meetings all the time to discuss government pork and waste like this
Nursemarcia November 22, 2011 at 05:10 PM
Whip maybe you need to have more information before a hasty reply. If a student is under the influence of anything they do not belong in school. This training is not something taught in nursing school. These skills are necessary for a school nurse! It isn't all about bandaides and medications anymore. Most inservices nurses pay for themselves so they are better prepared to do their jobs.
Cathy Ramsdell November 22, 2011 at 07:10 PM
Whip I am a school nurse too. I work in an inner city high school. I went through this training and we also learned how to tell if someone is under the influence of several types of drugs. This has helped us to have the student removed from school, given help if the student and their parents are willing and helped to protect the innocent students that are actually here to get an education. If we did not screen these students they could easilly be out driving afterschool. Would you like to be the victim of an intoxicated driver instead??? As Nurse Marcia stated we do a log more than just cover boo boos with bandaids. At my school we give tube feedings, take care of students with seizures, and perform emergency interventions that actually save lifes. It is not like the old days most of us are out in the schools on our own and we are responsible for the lives of each and every student.
Lg January 04, 2012 at 01:32 AM
So we're wasting money to crack down on kids who are in school not bothering anyone? Trust me, my own experience says that the kids that are "under the influence" are either too high to even talk or somewhat disrupt class, and if someone is drunk in class enough for it to be an issue, a 12 year old could tell, there is no need to use money on this.. I've been on both sides of the student's spectrum, and If they're using before/while in school, they're either comfortable enough to do it, and most likely at the age where they thought about the decision to do regardless of the consequences. Why create a program funded with this money that allows students to volunteer for help, or be referred.
Lg January 04, 2012 at 01:43 AM
Why Not*. continued from above: The problem with this being for health is that after health comes enforcement, which eventually leads to a forced referral to the health department, where you stay clean for 10 weeks from pot while substituting opiates/etc (If they need to be high or drunk so bad that they do it before/during school, i bet they'll use opiates to stay under the radar)


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »