516 - Procedure - Student Medication

I. Medication Procedure

The purpose of administering medications in school is to assist students who require medication to be taken during school hours to maintain an optimal state of health, therefore, enhancing their educational program.

The intent of this procedure is to assure safe administration of medication(s) in school for those students who require them. This procedure applies to both prescription and over-the-counter medication.

A written statement shall be required annually (each school year).

II. Long Term Medications: (Prescribed for more than two weeks.)

A. The physician will indicate the name of the medication, the route, the dosage, frequency and time of administration, the reason the medication needs to be given (diagnosis), possible side effects, and termination date.

B. The parent will request and authorize the school to give the medication in the dosage prescribed by the physician.

C. Parents/guardians are required to supply the medication in the original container labeled by the pharmacy or physician. The container will be labeled with the student’s name, name of medication, dose to be given, frequency and time it is to be given, the name of the prescribing physician and date the medication was obtained. Medication must not be expired.

III. Short Term Medications: (Prescribed for less than two weeks.)

A. A written statement will be required from the parent/guardian giving permission to give the medication in school. The statement must include: the name of the medication, the reason for the medication, the route, the dosage, the time and date the medication is to be given. Medication must not be expired.

B. Parents/guardians are required to supply the medication in the original container labeled by the pharmacy or physician. The container will be labeled with the student’s name, name of the medication, dose to be given, frequency and time it is to be given, the name of the prescribing physician, and the date the medication was obtained.

IV. Supervision of Administration of Medication

Medication will be given by the school nurse or trained designee. Administration of medication may be delegated or assigned by the school nurse to unlicensed personnel as necessary.

V. Administration of Medications

A. Medication will be administered according to the following:

  • Right student
  • Right medication
  • Right dose
  • Right time
  • Right route

VI. Documentation Of Medication Administration

Each dose of medication will be documented on the “Medication Administration Log” and will include: the name of student, name of the medication, dosage, time, route, date, reason for the medication, and the initials of the person administering the medication or monitoring the student self-administering the medication. If an “As Needed/PRN” medication is administered, the time of administration will be noted on the Medication Administration Log.

V. Storage Of Medication

Medication will be stored in a locked drawer or cabinet. Medications requiring refrigeration will be refrigerated in a secure area or lock box in the refrigerator. (Except as listed in Self-Administration of Medication.) Additionally, the main door(s) to the health office will be locked before and after school hours, and/or when the health office is not staffed.

VI. Medications That Are Controlled Substances

Medications that are categorized as controlled substances will be counted when they arrive at school and before they are sent home. These medications include, but not limited to: methylphenidate (ex. Ritalin, Concerta, Methylin), Dexedrine/Amphetamine (ex: Tylenol #3, Darvocet, Vicodin, and Percocet).

VII. Self-Administration Of Medication

The objective of some medication programs includes facilitating self-responsibility for medication. Prior to any self-medication program, the student needs to be knowledgeable about his/her specific health condition and the medications used to manage his/her condition. After health counseling with his/her physician and the licensed school nurse, self administration of medication may be considered as an option. If the student can demonstrate proper administration of the medication and if the student, his/her parent/guardian, physician and licensed school nurse agree it is appropriate for the student to self-administer the medication, the student will be allowed to carry and self administer the medication.

VIII. Unauthorized Use Of Medication At School

Students observed by school personnel self-administering unauthorized medications will be reported to their parent/guardian, and school administrator.

IX. Medication Sent Home At The End Of The Year

All student medications will be sent home at the end of the school year. Medications may be picked up by parents/guardians or sent home with the student, with the exception of controlled substances. The licensed school nurse will contact the parent/guardian to arrange the pick up or return of controlled substances. If the student is participating in ESY summer school programming, the medication may remain in school until the ESY summer school program has ended. Medication cannot be stored until the next school year. Any remaining medications will be disposed of according to FDA recommendations.

X. Medication Errors

If a medication error is made, (wrong student, wrong medication, wrong dose, wrong time, wrong route) it must be reported to the school nurse and the student’s parent/guardian as soon as possible. The medication error and follow-up are to be documented on the student’s medication administration log.

XI. Administration of Medication On Field Trips

The administration of medication to pupils on field trips shall be done only when the pupil’s health may be jeopardized without the medication. Written permission from the student’s parent or guardian, separate from that given for administration of medication on school grounds during the regular school day, shall be required for the administration of medication on overnight field trips.

In determining how medication shall be administered on field trips, the licensed school nurse shall consult with the teacher and the student’s parent or guardian. When determined by the licensed school nurse, teacher, and the student’s parent or guardian that the medication may be administered safely by the student’s teacher or health aide while on a field trip, the licensed school nurse shall instruct the teacher or aide supervising the student regarding how to administer the medication according to directions on the label of the medication and physician’s orders, and shall inform the teacher or aide of any possible side effects of the medication. Arrangements should be made in advance with the school nurse regarding medication or other health procedures being provided on an overnight or extended field trip.

If it is determined that the medication cannot be administered safely by the teacher or aide, or that the medication must be administered through gastrostomy tubes, rectally or by injection, special arrangements must be made with the school nurse.

Any drugs or medication to be administered to a pupil while on a field trip will be kept in the possession of the teacher or health aide accompanying a student on the trip or in an appropriate health care facility on the field trip site. All medication must be clearly marked with the student’s name, the medication name, and directions as to the dosage, time and method of administration. If the student is to self-administer medication on a field trip, the same procedure shall be in effect as for the regular school day.