School Plans & Policies - Medication Policy
KARRATHA PRIMARY SCHOOL
Ensure communication occurs between parents, school staff and appropriate health professionals (eg. nurse, family doctor).
Provide approval for school staff to administer or supervise the administration of medication to students (Appendix A-Section 4).
Ensure safe and confidential storage of records (Appendix B) relating to administration of medication.
Liaise with parents and principal.
Administer prescribed medication where there is an agreement between staff and parents, and written instructions as per appendix 1 have been provided by the parents(s) or guardian.
School staff are responsible for student welfare and need to know if a student has a valid medical reason for carrying prescribed medicine to school.
The students should self-administer their own medication where capable of doing so and have authorisation for the taking of medication.
The student may be supervised/assisted by school staff in administering their medication where there is an agreement to do so.
The Community Nurse may independently administer drugs to students in accordance with the Poisons Act 1964 and Poisons Act Regulation (WA).
Analgesics are non-prescribed pain suppressants (Eg: aspirin and paracetamol) and can have undesirable side effects. Aspirin must never be administered to students without a medical practitioner’s written instruction.
Student complaints, such as headaches, which may result in requests for analgesics could have underlying medical or psychological causes requiring professional investigation. School staff must not administer analgesics such as paracetamol to students without written instructions from the students’ parent/guardian (Appendix A- Section 1&2). The parent/guardian is responsible for the supply of any medication to be administered by school staff. School staff who are made responsible for students on medication should be fully informed of students’ particular needs in the administration of analgesics, and the needs of the student who carries medication for self administration.
The potential hazards involving the misuse of prescribed medications can be severe.
If a student is required to carry and self-administer prescribed medicine while at school, parents must advise the principal of all relevant details, eg. what form the medication takes, the correct dose and the symptoms associated with misuse, overuse, or under use as indicated by the treating doctor. Parents should complete a medication record form. For short term conditions such as dental treatment or period-pain where tablets or antibiotics are self-administered by the student, completion of medication record forms (Appendix A- Section 1&2) are required.
School staff are not expected to administer prescribed medication or treatments which require specialist training, such as giving injections. Prescription drugs are administered with written direction from a medical practitioner (Appendix A- Section 7) or a parent/guardian (Appendix A- Section 1&2).
If the student is determined to be incapable of self-administering prescribed medication, for whatever reason, discussions between the principal, school staff and parents or guardians should take place to attend to the following details:
1. Parents/guardians must provide written authority for the school staff accepting responsibility to administer the prescribed medication,
2. Parents/guardians are responsible for the submission in writing of any requirements of the student for medication including details from the medical practitioner (Appendix A -Section 7) of the circumstances for the appropriate use and application of the medication,
3. School staff should only administer prescribed medication in accordance with instructions or advice of a medical authority; and
4. The Principal must ensure the medical information for the student is available to all staff who have the student under their care.
Emergency situations include those arising from asthma, diabetes and serious allergic reaction. It is the parent/guardians’ responsibility to provide the school with adequate information regarding the details of the child’s medical condition, which may require specific action and/or treatment under emergency conditions. If a school is notified by a parent of such a medical condition the school should:
1. Develop an emergency action plan (Appendix A- Section 5);
2. Develop procedures agreed to by the parent and school to reduce the risk of an emergency situation arising, eg: the wearing of footwear at all times during activity on grassed areas for children who suffer from a serious allergic reaction to bee stings. Ensure the provision of extra carbohydrate (to be supplied by the parent to school staff who will ensure it has been take), for diabetics prior to strenuous activity; and
3. Ensure the child, parents and school staff are aware of all emergency procedures.
Preservation of records
All recorded data (Appendix B) should be kept in a secure place. All agreements to the administration of medication and all records of medication given need to be held by the school. Crown law has offered the opinion that legal questions regarding the administration of medication can arise. A consequent requirement is that all records of medication given to a student are retained for the period up to that person’s 25th birthday. These records are deemed to be of a confidential nature and their collection, storage and security are the responsibility of the Principal.
If the student has completed their schooling or shifted to an interstate school their record remains at the last school attended in Western Australia until that student’s 25th birthday. If the student is transferring between schools within the state the record should be transferred to the new school to be attended by the student. After the student’s 25th birthday their record may be returned to them on request, or disposed of, by any method which will not leave their details identifiable.