Administration of Medication at School

The purpose of administering medication in school is to help each child maintain an optimal state of health that may enhance his/her educational plan.  The medications shall be those required during school hours that are necessary to provide the student access to the education program.

            If a student demonstrates a sufficient need for medication during the school day, the district may allow either self-administration of the medication, or may provide for a school employee to administer the medication.  No student shall possess or consume any prescription or non-prescription medication on school grounds or at school-related functions other than as provided for in this policy and its implementing procedures.

            Then intent of the guidelines is to reduce the number of medications given in school, yet assure safe administration of medications for those children who require them.

            The objective of any medications program includes facilitating self-responsibility for medication after appropriate counseling and teaching children and families about health and self-care. It is within the scope of the school nurse’s responsibility to provide counseling to children regarding appropriate medication use.  Only those medications which are necessary to maintain the child in school and must be given during school hours shall be administered.

  1. The school nurse should be notified before medication is to be given in school by the parent, so an individual schedule can be established for the student.

  2. Each dose of medication shall be documented in the child’s individual health record.  Documentation shall include date, time, dosage, route, and the signature the person administering the medication or supervising the child in self-administration.  In the event a dosage is not administered as ordered, the reason(s) shall be entered in the record.

  3. The certified school nurse may, in conjunction with a licensed prescriber and the parents/guardians, identify circumstances in which a child may self-administer medication.

  4. Effectiveness and side effects shall be assessed with each administration and documented as necessary in the child’s individual health record.  Written feedback in regard to effects for long term medications will be provided to the licensed prescriber or parent/guardian as indicated or requested.

  5. All permission for long-term medication shall be renewed at least annually.  Changes in medication shall have written authorization from the licensed prescriber.

  6. All medications, including non-prescription drugs, given in school shall be prescribed by a licensed prescriber on an individual basis as determined by the child’s health status.  This excludes standing orders.  Our district does not use standing orders.

  7. A written order for prescription and non-prescription medications must be obtained from the child’s licensed prescriber.  This order includes: child’s name; date of birth; licensed prescriber and signature; licensed prescriber phone/emergency number, name of medication, dosage, and route; frequency and time of administration; date of prescription; date of order; discontinuation date; diagnosis requiring medication; other medication child is receiving; time interval for reevaluation.

  8. In addition to the licensed prescriber’s order, a written request shall be obtained from the parent/guardian requesting the medication be given during school hours.  The request must include the parent’s/guardian’s name and phone number in case of emergency.  It is the parent’s/guardian’s responsibility to assure that the licensed prescriber’s order, written request and medications are brought to school.

  9. Medication must be brought to the school by the parent/guardian (NOT the student) in the original package or an appropriately labeled container.  Prescription medications shall display: child’s name; prescription number; medication name and dosage; administration route and/or other directions; date and refill; licensed prescriber’s name; pharmacy name, address, and phone number, and name or initials of pharmacist.

  10. Over the counter medications (non prescription) shall be brought in with the manufacturer’s original label with the ingredients listed and child’s name affixed to the container.

  11. All liquid medication does shall be measured and witnessed by 2 staff members (only 1 nurse is administering).

  12. Medications for inhalation nebulization therapy must be premixed in individual doses before administration of the medication.

  13. Jr./Sr. High School students may self-administer Acetaminophen (age appropriate dose) during school hours through the Health Services office (with parent/guardian permission).  If a second dose is needed in the same day, it must be approved by the parent/guardian on the day it is requested.  If over 3 doses have been needed in a one week period, the parent/guardian will be notified so that a determination can be made in regard to the need for medical follow-up.

  14. Mediations must be stored in a separate locked drawer or cabinet.  Medications requiring refrigeration should be refrigerated in a secure area.

  15. The parent/guardian will be responsible at the end of the treatment regime for removing from the school any unused medication which was prescribed for their child.  If the parent/guardian does not pick up the medication by the end of the school year, the certified school nurse will dispose of and document that medication were discarded.  Medications will be discarded in the presence of a witness.

  16. Medications sent to school by way of the student, without following the administration of medication guidelines, will not be given.  The only exceptions will be emergency medications (asthma, inhalers, epi-pens, etc.) with parent/guardian consent.  Prescriber orders should be obtained as soon as possible.

  17. Children needing to carry inhalers are to have the inhalers properly marked.  The administration should follow the same medication guidelines in regard to orders/consents.  If the school nurse determines that a student is unable to admininster an inhaler effectively, consenting staff will be asked to assist the student.  The parent/guardian will be required to initial an agreement (per med consent form) that the school district, its employees and agents will incur no liability, except for willful and wanton conduct, as a result of any injury arising from a student’s self administration of medication.


If the preceding guidelines are not in concordance with parents wishes, parents have the right to come and give the medication to the student at school.