MEDICATION POLICY/ADMINISTRATION OF MEDICATION
Medication should be given at home, and physicians should be asked to change the schedule for the administration of medication so that it can be given before and after school hours. All medications shall be administered by a registered nurse, a licensed practical nurse, or by the parent or their designee (excluding non-medical school personnel). The only exception would be emergency medication which can be self-administered, such as an epi-pen or asthma inhaler. School personnel may not administer medication.
Students requiring a fast-acting inhaler, such as albuterol for asthma or epinephrine for life-threatening allergies, may self-administer their medication. Students may carry their own medication and administer it during the school day as ordered by their licensed prescriber and authorized by their parent and school. An order from a licensed prescriber for the medication, including a statement that it is necessary for the student to carry the medication and that the student is capable of self-administration, is required before the student may carry the medication on his/her person. Students needing to self-carry emergency medications should have an emergency care plan, or a similar form, completed by their healthcare provider. Before allowing a student to self-carry medication, the nurse assigned to the school will ensure that the student is competent in self-care through demonstration of administration skills and responsible behavior. The student must notify administration immediately following each use.
- When possible, school personnel will supervise the student's self-administration of medication.
- Stored medications administered by a RN, LPN, or parent must be in a secure locked location. Students should never be given access to this location.
- The medication must be delivered to the school by the parent, guardian or other responsible adult along with the treating physician's written documentation relative to the diagnosis, prescribed medication, dosage and instructions for the student’s self-administration of the medication.
- Medication brought to school must be in a container labeled by a pharmacist or doctor. The label must include the student's name, the name of the physician, date of prescription, dosage, and frequency of administration.
- If the student is not carrying the epi-pen or inhaler, a specific staff member may be given the responsibility of the care of the medication until needed by the student for self-medication.
- A record book must be maintained, indicating the student's name, the name of the medication, the date and time of distribution to the student for self-medication, and the identity of the person distributing medication to the student for self-medication. This record must be marked every time medication is dispensed.
NOTE: *The Pennsylvania Department of Health, "Guide for School Nursing Services in Pennsylvania,” states that medication should be given by school nurses only as prescribed by a physician. A legal opinion of the Pennsylvania Department of Justice states, "Except in truly emergency situations, teachers may not administer individually prescribed medications."