3416 Medication at School

  • General Statement

    Under normal circumstances, prescription and non-prescription, over-the-counter (OTC) medication, should be administered before and/or after school hours under supervision of the parent guardian. If a student must receive prescription or OTC oral or topical medication, eye drops, ear drops or nasal spray from an authorized staff member, the parent/guardian must submit a written request accompanied by a written authorization from a licensed healthcare practitioner (LHP), prescribing within the scope of their prescriptive authority.  If the medication will be administered for more than fifteen consecutive days, the LHP must also provide written, current and unexpired instructions for the administration of the medication.

    The superintendent will establish procedures for: 

    1. Designating staff members who may administer medication to students;
    2. Training, delegation and supervision of staff members in the administration of oral medication to students by a registered nurse (RN);
    3. Obtaining signed and dated parent/guardian and LHP requests and authorization for the administration of medications, including instructions from the LHP if the medication is to be given for more than fifteen (15) days;
    4. Storing medication in a locked or limited access area;
    5. Maintaining records pertaining to the administration of medication;
    6. Permitting, under limited circumstances, students to carry and self-administer medications necessary to their attendance at school; and
    7. Permitting possession and self-administration of over the counter topical sunscreen products. (See Sunscreen Section below).

    The use of injectable medication for the treatment of anaphylaxis is covered in School District Policy and Procedure 3419 Self-Administration of Asthma and Anaphylaxis Medication and School District Policy and Procedure 3420, Anaphylaxis Prevention and Response.

    Medications including suppositories, rectal gels, or injections (except for emergency injections for students with anaphylaxis, that is covered in School District Policy and Procedure 3419 Self-Administration of Asthma and Anaphylaxis Medication and School District Policy and Procedure 3420, Anaphylaxis Prevention and Response) may not be administered by school staff other than by a RN, licensed practical nurse (LPN), or in some situations by a parent designated adult (PDA).

    If the school decides to discontinue administering a student’s medication, the superintendent or designee must provide notice to the student’s parent/guardian orally and in writing prior to the discontinuance.  There must be a valid reason for the discontinuance that does not compromise the health of the student or violate legal protections for the disabled.  

    Sunscreen

    Over-the-counter topical sunscreen products may be possessed and used by students, parent/guardians, and school staff without a written prescription or note from a licensed heath care provider if the following conditions are met:

    1. The product is regulated by the US Food and Drug administration as an over-the-counter sunscreen product; and

    2. If possessed by a student, the product is provided to the student by a parent/guardian.

    Medical Marijuana:

    Washington State law (RCW 69.51A.060) permits the use of medical marijuana, however, federal law (Title IV-Part A–Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities and the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) (21 U.S.C § 811) prohibits the possession and use of marijuana on the premises of recipients of federal funds including educational institutions. Therefore, there will be no accommodation of any marijuana use on any school grounds, school bus or at any other school related activities.  

    Cross References:
    Board Policy 3419         Self-Administration of Asthma and Anaphylaxis Medications
    Board Policy 3420         Anaphylaxis Prevention and Response

    Legal References:  
    RCW 28A.210.260         Public and Private Schools – Administration of Medication – Conditions
    RCW 28A.210.270         Public and Private Schools – Administration of Medication – Immunity from Liability – Discontinuance, Procedure 

    Management Resources:   
    Policy News, Feb. 2001      Oral Medication Definition Expanded
    Policy and Legal News       August 2012, February 2014, July 2017, August 2018

    ADOPTED: 12/17/1998
    REVISED: 8/31/00; 12/14/00; 4/26/01; 10/25/12; 3/26/15; 5/23/19

    Procedure No. 3416P Medication at School

    Each school principal will authorize two (2) staff members to administer prescribed or non-prescribed medication. These designated staff members will receive registered nurse delegation prior to the opening of school each year.

    For purposes of this procedure, “medication” means oral medication, topical medication, eye drops, ear drops and nasal spray. This definition DOES NOT include over-the-counter topical sunscreen products related by the US Food and Drug Administration (see Sunscreen section below). Oral medications are administered by mouth either by swallowing or by inhaling and may include administration by mask if the mask covers the mouth or mouth and nose.

    Medication may be dispensed to students on a scheduled basis upon written authorization from a parent with a written request by a licensed health professional prescribing within the scope of their prescriptive authority.  If the medication is to be administered more than fifteen (15) consecutive days the written request must be accompanied by written instructions from a licensed health professional. Requests will be valid for not more than the current school year. The prescribed or non-prescribed medication must be properly labeled and be contained in the original container. The dispenser of prescribed or non-prescribed medication will: 

    1. Collect the medication directly from the parent (students should not transport medication to school), collect an authorization form properly signed by the parent and by the prescribing health professional and collect instructions from the prescribing health professional if the medication is to be administered for more than fifteen (15) consecutive days;

    2. Store the prescription or non-prescribed medication (not more than a twenty (20) day supply) in a locked, substantially constructed cabinet; 

    3. Maintain a daily record which indicates that the prescribed or non-prescribed medication was dispensed; and 

    4. Provide for supervision by a physician or registered nurse. 

    5. A copy of this policy and procedure will be provided to the parent upon request for administration of medication in the schools.

    Prescribed and over-the-counter oral or topical medications, eye drops or ear drops may be administered by a registered nurse, a licensed practical nurse, or an authorized staff member.

    Nasal sprays containing legend (prescription) drugs or controlled substances may only be administered by a school nurse or, if a school nurse is not present on school premises, an authorized school employee, or a parent-designated adult with training as required by RCW 28A.210.260.

    No prescribed medication will be administered by injection by staff except when a student is susceptible to a predetermined, life‑endangering situation.

    The parent will submit a written statement which grants a staff member the authority to act according to the specific written orders and supporting directions provided by a licensed health professional prescribing within their prescriptive authority (e.g., medication administered to counteract a reaction to an insect sting). Such medication will be administered by staff trained by the supervising registered nurse to administer such an injection.

    Written orders for emergency medication, signed and dated, from the licensed health professional prescribing within their prescriptive authority will:

    1. State that the student suffers from an allergy which may result in an anaphylactic reaction;

    2. Identify the drug, the mode of administration, and the dose. Epinephrine administered by inhalation, rather than injection, may be a treatment option.  This decision must be made by the licensed health professional prescribing within their prescriptive authority;

    3. Indicate when the injection will be administered based on anticipated symptoms or time lapse from exposure to the allergen;

    4. Recommend follow-up after administration, which may include care of the stinger, need for a tourniquet, administration of additional medications, transport to hospital; and

    5. Specify how to report to the licensed health professional prescribing within their prescriptive authority and any record keeping recommendations.

    If a health professional and a student’s parent request that a student be permitted to carry their own medication and/or be permitted to self-administer the medication, the principal may grant permission after consulting with the school nurse. The process for requesting and providing instructions will be the same as established for oral medications. The principal and nurse will take into account the age, maturity, and capability of the student; the nature of the medication, the circumstances under which the student will or may have to self-administer the medication and other issues relevant in the specific case before authorizing a student to carry and/or self-administer medication at school. Except in the case of multi-dose devices (like asthma inhalers), students will only carry one day’s supply of medication at a time. Violations of any conditions placed on the student permitted to carry and/or self-administer their own medication may result in termination of that permission, as well as the imposition of discipline when appropriate.

    Sunscreen

    Over-the-counter topical sunscreen products may be possessed and used by students, parent/guardians, and school staff without a written prescription or note from a licensed heath care provider if the following conditions are met:

    1. The product is regulated by the US Food and Drug administration as an over-the-counter sunscreen product; and

    2. If possessed by a student, the product is provided to the student by a parent/guardian.

    Students who possess over-the-counter topical sunscreen products that meet the above criteria may carry up to 8 ounces at a time, preferably with the container in a plastic bag.

    Violations of any conditions placed on the student permitted to carry and/or self-administer their own sunscreen products may result in confiscation and termination of that permission, as well as the imposition of discipline when appropriate.

    School staff may assist students in application of sunscreen products in certain circumstances and in the presence of another staff member. The appropriate staff member will take into account the age, maturity, and capability of the student, the need for the application of the sunscreen, and other issues relevant in the specific case, before assisting students in application of sunscreen products at school or during school-sponsored events.  However, staff members are not required to assist students in applying sunscreen.

    (The following procedures are specific to parent-designated adult care of students with epilepsy):

    Parent-Designated Adult Care of Students with Epilepsy

    Parents of students with epilepsy may designate an adult to provide care for their student consistent with the student's individual health care plan. At parent request, school district employees may volunteer to be a parent-designated adult under this policy, but they will not be required to participate. Parent-designated adults who are school employees will file a voluntary, written, current and unexpired letter of intent stating their willingness to be a parent-designated adult. Parent-designated adults who are school employees are required to receive training in caring for students with epilepsy from the school nurse. Parent-designated adults will receive additional training from a parent-selected health care professional or expert in epileptic care to provide the care (including medication administration) requested by the parent.

    Parent-designated adults who are not school employees are required to show evidence of comparable training, and meet school district requirements for volunteers. Parent-designated adults will receive additional training from a parent-selected health care professional or expert in epileptic care to provide the care requested by the parent. The (insert appropriate staff member) is not responsible for the supervision of procedures authorized by the parents and carried out by the parent-designated adult.

    ADOPTED: 12/17/1998
    REVISED: 8/31/00; 12/14/00: 4/26/01; 11/20/01; 10/25/12; 3/26/15; 5/23/19

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