Under normal circumstances, all student medications, both prescription and over the counter (OTC) medications should be administered before and/or after school hours under supervision of the parent/guardian. When it is necessary for a student to receive prescription or OTC oral medication, topical medication, eye drops, ear drops or nasal spray at school or at school-sponsored events, the parent/guardian must submit a written parental request and a written authorization form from a licensed healthcare practitioner (LHP), prescribing within the scope of their prescriptive authority. If the medication will be administered for more than 15 consecutive days, the LHP must also provide written, current and unexpired instructions for the administration of the medication.
The superintendent will establish procedures for required and proper:
- Designating staff members who may administer medication to students;
- Training, delegation, and supervision of staff members in the administration of medication to students by a registered nurse (RN), including oral medication, topical medication, eye drops, ear drops, and/or nasal spray
- Obtaining signed and dated parent/guardian and LHP request and authorization for the administration of medications, including instructions from the LHP if the medication is to be given for more than 15 days;
- Transporting medications to and from school
- Storing medication in a locked or limited access area;
- Labeling medication
- Administering of medication, including identification of student and medication
- Documenting administration of medication, including errors, reactions or side effects;
- Disposing of medications;
- Maintaining records pertaining to the administration of medication;
- Maintaining student confidentiality
- Permitting, as appropriate possession and self-administration of medications necessary for student school attendance;
- Permitting possession and self-administration of OTC topical sunscreen products (see sunscreen section below); and
- Reviewing and evaluating of medication practices and documentation;
Policy and Procedure 3419 Self-Administration of Asthma and Anaphylaxis Medication and Policy and Procedure 3420 Anaphylaxis Prevention and Response govern the use of injectable medication for the treatment of anaphylaxis.
Except for limited situations, no school staff other than a RN or licensed practical nurse (LPN) may administer suppositories, rectal gels, or injections (except for emergency injections for students with anaphylaxis, as stated in Policy and Procedure 3419 Self-Administration of Asthma and Anaphylaxis Medication and Policy and Procedure 3420 Anaphylaxis Prevention and Response). In some situations, a parent designated adult (PDA) may administer certain injections.
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.
OTC topical sunscreen products may be possessed and used by students, parent/guardians, and school staff without a written prescription or note from a LHP if the following conditions are met:
- The product is regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (USDA) as an OTC sunscreen product; and
- If possessed by a student, the product is provided to the student by a parent/guardian.
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. School nurses may not administer medical marijuana. See Policy 3423 Parental Administration of Marijuana for Medical Purposes, regarding parental administration of medical marijuana on school grounds, school bus, and school-sponsored activities.
RCW 28A.210.260 Public and Private Schools —Administration of Medication— Conditions
Policy News, July 2019 Parents Can Administer Marijuana Infused Treatments at School
Policy News, August 2018 School nurses: assuring a safe and healthy school environment
Policy News, July 2017 Passage of the Student Sun Safety Education Act changes policy
Policy & Legal News, February 2014, Nasal spray added to list of medications that may be administered by school personnel