Training for Professionals

Daycare worker with three kids

An important way to improve safety and quality of life for people with epilepsy is to make sure that professionals such as school nurses and other school staff, law enforcement, first responders, and childcare workers understand epilepsy and how to offer first aid.

Click on the expandable sections below to learn about the training programs that are available for specific professions.

School Nurses

Managing Students with Seizures: A School Nurse Training ProgramExternal
School nurses play an important role in recognizing and managing seizures at school. This program provides school nurses the knowledge and skills they need to provide care to students with epilepsy, and also to train other school staff. The training is available in person through local Epilepsy Foundation affiliatesExternal or onlineExternal. The course provides nurses with 3.2 FREE Continuing Education Units (CEUs) through a partnership with the CDC. In 2011, this program received a recognition award from the National Association of School Nurses.

Teachers and Staff

Seizure Training for School PersonnelExternal
This program provides teachers and other school personnel with the knowledge and skills needed to recognize seizures, respond with appropriate first aid, and understand the impact seizures have on students. It is for elementary, middle, and secondary school staff, including teachers, administrators, cafeteria workers, security guards, custodians, or other school staff that may come in contact with students. It is offered in person through local Epilepsy Foundation affiliatesExternal and onlineExternal, and offers FREE CEUs through a partnership with CDC.

Marijuana Use in Adolescent PopulationsExternal
This online training improves the knowledge of school staff about marijuana perceptions and usage among adolescent populations. This training is offered through the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units and offers free continuing education credits upon full completion.

Teachers and Students

Take Charge of the StormExternal and Take Charge of the FactsExternal
The Take Charge of the Storm and Take Charge of the Facts programs teach middle and high school students about seizures and epilepsy, teach appropriate first aid, and help reduce stigma. Take Charge of the Storm is for middle school students, and includes a game and supplemental materials for the students. Take Charge of the Facts is appropriate for high school students and incorporates epilepsy information into lesson plans for health education, history or language arts classes. Program materials are available free of charge from the Epilepsy Foundation through the links above.

First Responder TrainingExternal
This program teaches law enforcement and other emergency personnel how to recognize seizures, provide first aid, and reduce injuries. This training is critical to the safety of someone with epilepsy, because first responders may confuse seizures with aggressive or noncompliant behavior. It is offered in person through local Epilepsy Foundation affiliatesExternal and onlineExternal, and offers free CEUs.


Young hands holding older hands

Seniors and Seizures TrainingExternal
This training provides caregivers and staff of adult day care centers, senior centers, long-term facilities, nursing homes, and other older adult-serving organizations with strategies to better recognize and respond to seizures among older adults. The free training is offered online or through in-person trainings conducted by local Epilepsy Foundation affiliates. Free continuing education credits are available through a partnership with CDC.

Project UPLIFT Training for Mental Health ProfessionalsExternal
Project UPLIFT (Using Practice and Learning to Increase Favorable Thoughts) is a home-based program designed to treat depression in people with epilepsy. Based upon Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression, the program significantly reduces symptoms of depression.  The goal is to recruit and train at least one licensed mental health professionals from each of the 50 states. The training is conducted during a one-hour conference call that meets once a week for 10 weeks. The training is free and offers free continuing education credits upon full completion.

PEARLS Depression Intervention Training External
PEARLS (Program to Encourage Active, Rewarding Lives) is a highly effective, home-based program designed to reduce depression and improve quality of life in adults with epilepsy. PEARLS uses a team-based approach, involving PEARLS counselors, supervising psychiatrists, and medical providers. A 2-day training session is offered throughout the year in Seattle, Washington that equips all members of a PEARLS team – including counselors and administrators – to implement the program successfully in their organization. Licensed social workers, marriage and family therapists, and mental health counselors are eligible for professional credit.

Mental Health and Wellness in EpilepsyExternal
This free online training helps health professionals who treat people with epilepsy to identify the risk of suicide and objectively examine quality of life challenges. This course is provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Employee Education System, and the VA Epilepsy Center of Excellence, and offers free continuing education credits upon full completion.

Recognizing Imitators of EpilepsyExternal
This free online training gives health care providers an introduction to the clinical approach to differential diagnosis of seizures. It also includes a more in depth discussion on psychogenic non-epileptic seizures, syncope, movement disorders that may imitate seizures, and other common imitators. The course is provided by the VA Epilepsy Center of Excellence and offers free continuing education credits upon full completion.

Seizure Training for Childcare PersonnelExternal
This program teaches childcare providers about proper seizure first aid for young children. Childcare providers who complete this training will be able to recognize common seizure types and their possible impact on children, identify and apply appropriate first aid, recognize when a seizure is a medical emergency, and show social and academic support. Program materials are available from the Epilepsy Foundation through the link above.