Schools are required to have a policy and procedure regarding medication. This includes the administering of medication to students while attending school or school-based activities.
Authorisation should be obtained from a medical practitioner to administer any medication to students.
Administering of medication during school hours should be considered only when there is no other alternative, such as when the medication is prescribed by a medical practitioner to be taken at scheduled times.
Medication Administration Requirements
Schools should ensure that:
- staff are aware of medication administration (including recording-keeping, storage and transportation) procedures;
- a written request has been received from the parent for the administering of medication. This relates to all prescription and non-prescription medication (including over-the-counter medication such as paracetamol, anti-histamines or alternative medicines);
- administered medication is supported by a medical authority (the original medication container with an attached prescription pharmacy label constitutes such authority).
Schools should not:
- administer analgesics (e.g. aspirin or paracetamol) as a standard first aid strategy;
- allow the use of medication by anyone other than the prescribed student.
Suggested Strategies for Medication Administration
Schools should adopt the following strategies for the administering of medication:
- Administer medication directly from the original medication container
- If the information on the medication container contradicts the request of the parent/carer, do not administer medication and seek clarification from the parent
- For prescription medication, ensure the pharmacy label is attached to the original container and includes the:
- student name
- strength and description of medication
- dose and route (e.g. inhaled/orally) of administration
- correct storage information
- timing of medication administration
- medication expiry date
- pharmacist’s details.
- Check and adhere to pharmacy label instructions prior to administering (e.g. ‘to be taken with food’).
- Ensure the:
- correct medication
- correct student
- correct dose
- correct time
- correct route (e.g. inhaled/orally)
- correct documentation.