ADMINISTERING MEDICINES TO STUDENTS
Except in an emergency situation or cases of anaphylaxis, only certified school nurse teachers or parents/guardians are authorized to dispense medication to students. In an emergency life-threatening situation, all school personnel are authorized to administer medication. (“Good Samaritan” statute insulates a person who voluntarily and gratuitously renders emergency assistance from liability for civil damages unless the Samaritan is guilty of “gross negligence or wanton conduct”. General Laws 9-1-27.1) Parents are encouraged to administer medication during non-school hours.
Notwithstanding the above, when the written authorization of the physician and parent/guardian allow a student to self-carry and/or self-administer a day’s supply of medication and/or clearly indicates that no supervision is necessary or requested in the student’s administration of the medicine, then the school administration is not required to provide a certified school nurse teacher to perform the function of supervision of the self-administration of student’s medication (See section on Special Requirements/Field Trips.)
When the written authorization of the physician and parent/guardian allows for the student to self-administer prescription inhalers, or when a student is required to carry a prescription inhaler on his/her person due to a medical condition, medical documentation that the inhaler has been legitimately prescribed must be provided.
As of July 2014 all medications, prescription and OTC (over-the-counter) medications require a physician’s signature in order to be administered at school.
Accordingly, medication may be taken by the student at school using the following procedures:
1. A document is on file at the school from a physician indicating permission for the student to receive the prescription and over-the-counter medication. The document must identify the drug, indicate the proper dosage, route of administration, and when it is to be given.
2. A document is on file at school from the parent/guardian indicating that the student may receive the prescription and over-the-counter medication.
3. Prescription and over-the-counter medication must be in a properly labeled container from the pharmacy.
4. The documents on file from the physician and parent/guardian must be renewed annually.
5. All prescription and over-the-counter medications will be stored within the school building in a secure place and labeled for individual use.
Unless otherwise authorized by this policy, a school nurse teacher will be available to administer medication under normal circumstances. In the event that a school nurse teacher is not available, every reasonable attempt will be made to have another school nurse teacher administer the medication. If this is not possible, it will be the responsibility of the parent/guardian to administer medication.
Special Requirements/Field Trips
In the case of a field trip or an activity away from school, it is recommended that the medication be administered before the field trip or upon return to school. A parent/guardian may accompany the student as a chaperone in order to administer medication. With parent and physician approval, a medication may be omitted for the day. With parent and physician approval, a student may be authorized to self-carry and/or self-administer a day’s supply of prescription and over-the-counter medication, including a controlled substance, on a field trip or away-from-school activity. This medication must be supplied by the parent/guardian and must be stored and transported in a properly labeled container.
No school nurse teacher, school administrator, or school personnel shall be liable for civil damages which may result from acts or omissions which may constitute ordinary negligence when a student self-carries and/or self administers his/her own medication(s).
ADOPTED: December 7, 1998
REVISED: June 15, 2015