Medication Administration

  • When a student requires daily or regular medication, parents must make every effort to give prescribed doses of the medication at home. It is recommended that parents consult with their doctor to see if midday medication can be adjusted and given at another time. Therefore, only medications (prescription, non-prescription and herbal) which are prescribed by a physician and which are essential for the student to remain in school shall be given, providing that the conditions outlined below are followed. Standing orders may not be used as a basis for administration of medication with the exception of emergency undesignated medications covered by Illinois State Law (epinephrine, albuterol and opiate antagonists).

    A. Prior to giving any medication (long term, short term, prescribed, over-the-counter or herbal) at school, the school medication permission form shall be completed, authorizing the school to administer the medication. Permission forms shall be renewed every year or whenever changes in medication or the health of the child occurs. Forms are kept on file in the health office. Permission forms are available in the school health office and are subject to review by the certified school nurse.
    B. The school nurse shall review the written order, require any additional information from the parent or guardian or the student's licensed prescriber appropriate to complete the review, consult with the Principal of the school or School District medical advisors, as appropriate, and accept the written order or seek further clarification of the order if necessary. An appeal regarding the denial of any order prescribing the administration of medication at school may be made by the parent or guardian to the Principal of the school and then to the Superintendent.
    C. Each dose of medication shall be documented in the students' individual health record. Documentation shall include date, time, dosage, route and the signature of the person administering the medication or supervising the student in self-administration. In the event a dosage is not administered as ordered, the reasons shall be entered in the record. Medication log information is documented on the permanent health record and the medication log is generally discarded at the end of two school years.
    D. Medication shall be brought in a current pharmacy container clearly marked with student's name, prescription number, medication name/dosage, administration route, date and refill, licensed prescriber's name and pharmacy address and phone number. Over-the- counter medication shall be in the original container with ingredients listed and child's name affixed to the container.
    E. Administration of the medication will be started when the medication and permissions are reviewed by the certified school nurse.
    F. Medications and special items necessary to administer medications, such as syringes and hypodermic needles, must be stored in a separate locked drawer or cabinet. Medications requiring refrigeration must be refrigerated in a secure area. Medications which must be available while a student is engaged in school activity conducted away from the customary site of storage must be kept with the certified employee supervising the activity.
    G. A medication supply will be accepted on the first school day when the doctor and parent permission are received. The container will be sent home with the student when re-supply is necessary. Parents will be asked to pick up unused medication at the end of the school year or when medication is discontinued. Parents should bring new supplies of medication to school or call to inform the health office that the student is bringing medication.

    H. The certified school nurse, school administrator, or other designated school personnel may administer medications under these guidelines. Any certified employee, any health aide, or principal's designee may supervise self-administration of medication by a student under these guidelines. Any certified employee or principal's designee may administer medications in an emergency situation, if under the circumstances, the school nurse or emergency medical personnel cannot be available in sufficient time and the student cannot reasonably self-administer the medication. Parents may administer medications with the approval of the school nurse or the principal of the school
    I. The parent must report immediately any change in prescription or dosage, and new permission forms must be obtained for each change.
    J. Self-administration of medication with supervision shall be accomplished as follows:
    • Self-administration may occur only in places designated by the school nurse or principal.
    • An employee authorized to supervise self-administration must provide the medication to the student from the storage area, observe the student measure and take the required dosage, return the medication to its storage place and make a record of the administration in accordance with C above. A health technician or health clerk may be the authorized employee.
    K. Students may self-administer medication for treatment in the event of a life- threatening allergic reaction. Or medication may be administered by the student with assistance from school personnel as necessary. If a student is unable to self-administer the medication in a life-threatening situation, a trained staff member may administer the medication. With the written authorization of the physician and parent/guardian, students requiring such medication are:
    • To use an auto-injector which contains the proper dosage for the child’s body weight.
    • To carry the medication on their person at times of high risk for contact with the allergen.
    • To be encouraged to leave an additional auto-injector in the Health Office to use in the event of emergency.
    • To submit the authorization and indemnity agreement relative to the administration of such medication to the school, prior to the institution of the above procedures.
    L. Parents may request that students self-administer an inhaler for asthma without supervision. If this is the parents’/guardians’ request, the following steps must be taken:
    1. Complete and sign the form entitled Students with Asthma Self-Medicating Without Supervision, providing written authorization and indemnification for this child to self-administer asthma medication.
    2. Provide the health office with the medication in the container box with the prescribing information so that this may be recorded by the health office staff.
    M. The certified school nurse will interpret to school personnel and parents, if necessary, the need for observation of the student’s reaction to the medication, including potential benefits and side effects.
    N. The certified school nurse shall provide feedback concerning medication to the licensed prescriber when requested.
    O. High school students may have the medication guidelines modified to reflect their increasing responsibility for health care.
    P. Parents will submit the authorization and indemnity agreement to allow the administration of any injectable medication by a certified school nurse in a non-emergency situation.
    Q. With proper authorization, students may carry and self-administer an inhaler for the treatment of asthma or epinephrine for anaphylaxis. A back-up inhaler or epinephrine should be kept in the school health office.
    R. Students who cannot self-administer medication will have their medication administered by a school nurse, a registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse (under the supervision of a registered nurse). A certified staff member may also administer medication.
    S. The first dose of any medication ordered for a student should be given by the parents at home.