Schools must arrange specialist anaphylaxis training for staff where students in the school have been diagnosed as being at risk of anaphylaxis. The specialist training includes practical instruction in how to use an adrenaline autoinjector (EpiPen and Anapen).
Anaphylaxis, when it occurs, always requires an emergency response. The student's health care plan will detail the emergency response.
Principals are reminded that as many school staff as possible should attend the training including school administrative staff and casual staff who are working in the school on that day. Schools should consider extending an invitation to their scheduled training session to other school community members as appropriate. This can include for example, casual staff who are not already working on that day, the school canteen manager, staff from the Out of School Hours Centre associated with the school.
It is recommended that specialist training be conducted every two years. However, schools can make decisions about the frequency of training on the basis of turnover of staff and enrolment of new students. The frequency of training can also be informed by the review and update of students' individual health care plans
Assistance with training from NSW Health
The NSW Health Anaphylaxis Training Program can provide the specialist anaphylaxis training for school staff and is the recommended training provider for the following reasons:
- the program has been developed by NSW Health and ASCIA. ASCIA is the peak professional association on allergies and anaphylaxis for Australia
- the training is delivered by nurse educators accredited through the program
- the training includes information about strategies that can be implemented in schools for avoiding a student's exposure to known allergens
- information in the training aligns with department policy
- the training includes practical instruction in the EpiPen, new-look EpiPen and the Anapen.
NSW Health does not provide training to individual staff. Individual staff who are unable to attend training that has been organised by a school should undertake the ASCIA e-training.
To request training schools complete the application for anaphylaxis training form (PDF 85kB) and fax or email it to the administration officer, NSW Health Anaphylaxis Training Program. The administration officer will communicate with the educators as to the availability of training and can be contacted between the hours of 9am and 3pm Monday to Thursday on telephone (02) 9845 3501 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
E-training is available as interim training until specialist training can be arranged.
Anaphylaxis training can be accessed online. ASCIA, in conjunction with NSW Health and in consultation with the department, has developed anaphylaxis e-training for school and childcare staff.
The e-training does not replace specialist anaphylaxis training conducted where students are diagnosed at risk of anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis e-training can be used:
- as interim training until specialist training is conducted
- as a refresher course between specialist training sessions
- for any staff, including new and casual staff, who were unable to attend a scheduled specialist anaphylaxis training session.
The self-paced course is completed in modules and can be accessed at http://etraining.allergy.org.au.
Upon successful completion of the course, participants are issued a certificate of completion. This should be provided to the school principal who has responsiblity for maintaining an up-to-date register of staff with completed anaphylaxis training.