Dispensing Medication at School

Policy Code: 
Adoption Date: 
Tuesday, September 27th, 2016


The school district shall follow the guidelines of Federal and Utah state laws in the State system of public education Utah Code 53A-11-601 and the Utah State Nurse Practice Act R156-31b-701 & 701a – Delegation of nursing tasks and dispensing medication.

The registered professional nurse hired by the school district is the recognized medical authority in the school setting.  The district will contract a physician as a professional medical consultant for the school nurse. 

Student confidentiality will be maintained in all written and verbal communication in accordance with FERPA regulations 34CFR 99.30.


Dispensing of medication is not a typical function of the school and it must be given whenever possible by parents at home.  However, if a student must take medication during school hours in order to assume full participation in the school program, the school nurse, by discretion as outlined in the Utah Nurse Practice Act, may designate a school employee for this task.

The medication, paraphernalia, the doctor’s statement requesting such action and proper instructions to the employee are the responsibility of the parent or guardian. 

As long as authorized personnel act in a prudent and responsible manner, school or District staff who provide assistance in substantial compliance with the medical provider’s written statement, are not liable civilly or criminally for any adverse reaction suffered by the student as a result of taking the medication, or discontinuing the administration of the medication under section (6) six of this policy.

1.  Required Forms: (available at every school’s nurses office.)

a. The student’s parent or legal guardian will provide a completed, current, signed, and dated Medication Authorization Form providing for the administration of medication to the student during regular school hours.  This authorization form must be updated each school year or whenever a change is made in the medication or the administration.

b.  Each student must have his/her own Daily Medication Tracking Form.  This form will show authorized signature and initial of designated staff, medication authorized, dosage, time of day, and date.  It will show daily record of medication administered, by whom, and explanation of missed doses if needed, how much medication has been discarded (if necessary) and who witnessed it.

c.  Any medication error/adverse reaction must be reported to the parent, the principal, the nurse and documented on the Medication Error/Adverse Reaction Reporting Form.

d.  The medication documents will be placed in the student’s cumulative file or special education file at the end of each year.

2.  The medication is to be delivered to the school by the student’s parent/guardian or by a responsible adult.  A student may not carry the medication to or from school. A one-week’s supply or more is recommended.

3.  Each student’s medication should be affixed a prescription label including his/her name, the name of the drug, and directions concerning dosage, instructions about the duration of the medication and other pertinent information. The medication must be fully assembled.

4.  Nonprescription, over the counter medication must comply with the above required forms and must be in the original container and clearly labeled with the child’s name and dose per doctor’s order on the container.  A one-week’s supply or more is recommended.

5.  Medication must be an oral medication, inhalant medication, eye or eardrop medication, gastronomy medication, topical medication, or Epi-Pen (for possible severe allergic reaction as prescribed by the doctor). (See exceptions to this rule in #11 – seizure medication)

6.  Medication must be kept in a secure location for the safekeeping of medications and unused portions must be accounted for.

a.  Medication(s) to be administered by school staff must be stored in a locked cabinet with the exception of those medications needing refrigeration or those with proper authorization to be carried by the student.

b.  Unused medication(s) should be picked up within two weeks following notification of parent/guardians or it will be disposed of by the school and recorded on the Daily Medication Tracking form.  In disposing medication, two people must be present to record the medication, amount of medication discarded, date and how discarded.  Both witnesses must sign the Daily Medication Tracking Form.

c.  Any medication error/adverse reaction must be reported to the parent, the principal, the nurse, and documented on the Medication Error/Adverse Reaction Reporting Form.

d.  A missed dose for any reason or related students non-compliance with procedure will be reported to parent/guardian and documented on the medication tracking form.

7.  Authorization for administration of medication by school personnel may be withdrawn by the school at any time after actual notification to the parent/guardian should problems or difficulties occur, such as, but not limited to: 

a.  The parent/guardian has been non-compliant with the medication policy or

b.  The student has been non-compliant with the medication policy by refusing medication or not coming for medication at appointed time.

c.  School personnel who provide assistance under subsection (1) in substantial compliance with the licensed health care provider’s written prescription and the employers of these school personnel are not liable, civilly or criminally, for:

a.  any adverse reaction suffered by the student as a result of taking the medication; and or

        b.  discontinuing the administration of the medication under section (7).

8.  This policy does not prohibit a student from carrying his/her own medication to school in instances where the student’s maturity level is such that he/she could reasonably be expected to appropriately administer the medication on his/her own and as outlined in:

a.  Utah Code Title 53A State System of Public Education Chapter 11 section 602, 603, 604 for asthma medication, glucagon, and diabetes medication and supplies.

b.  A one-day dosage of medically necessary and properly labeled medication on his/her person.

1.  If there is a question about the safe administration of medication that is carried by the student, the nurse will evaluate and instruct as required.

2.  Any misuse of such medication by the student may be subject to disciplinary action under the District’s Safe Schools Policy (JFB).

9.  Acetaminophen may be administered as a one time request from parent or guardian as approved by the district physician consultant and in accordance to section IV and IV A.

a.  Miriam Webster Dictionary Definition of FIRST AID: “emergency care or treatment given to an ill or injured person before regular medical aid can be obtained”

b.  A dose of the medication acetaminophen may be administered as a first aid measure. (See appendix IV and IV A). This medication may be administered one time only during the school year. If it is required again at school, the above requirements under “Dispensing medication at school” must be met.

10.  Epinephrine Auto Injector policies from the state will be followed as directed regarding students that have prescribed this medication.  Iron County School District may have available at each school an emergency epinephrine auto-injector to any teacher or other school employee who is employed at the school and is qualified to administer an epinephrine auto injector for use as needed.  The District shall provide training regarding the storage and use of an epinephrine auto injector to a teacher or other school employee who volunteers to take the training.   All procedures as written in Utah State law Sections 26-41-102 through 26-41-106 of the USR will be followed.  (See appendix V)

11. Seizure Medication - Anti-seizure medications that are used in emergency situations to stop prolonged seizures require special considerations.  Because these types of medications require specialized knowledge by a licensed medical person who can monitor vital signs and resuscitate when necessary. The school nurse must assess each request for medication individually.  (Appendix VI for Diastat (rectal valium) administration)

a.  If a licensed medical person is onsite at the school, this individual has the right to choose to administer or choose not to administer an anti-seizure medication to a student who is having seizures based on individual license and expertise. The school nurse has the right to allow or not allow that medication to be given in the school. The school nurse by her professional opinion may or may not choose to delegate medication administration to an unlicensed assistive person. (Utah Nurse Practice Act – Appendix I)

b. All other rules and regulations apply in accordance with dispensing medication in the school as stated previously in this policy.

c. Seizure rescue medication- We will adhere to the provision of HB 75, “Rescue Medication in School”, 2016 http://le.utah.gov/2016/bills/static/SB0232.html, and in accordance with the Utah State Health Department.

12. Medication and Transportation of Students - Care should be considered when children are transported to and from school, on field trips, or any other school function that removes a child from the normal school situation.  These times may be critical for a child on medication, especially if that medication has been left behind, or not available. Individual Health Care Plans (IHP) may be shared with bus drivers who transport children with medication concerns.  Every care should be considered during field trips and events that remove children from school where emergency medications are stored.

a.  In the event of a field trip, the nurse and the teacher/school personnel that will be administering the medication must complete the Field Trip Medication authorization form. The medication must be taken in the original container and all protocol for dispensing medication must be met.

b.  All protocols, paperwork and safeguards apply for administration of the medication as stated previously in this policy. 

13. Other Medications - There are many other kinds of medications that parents may want the schools to administer throughout the school day.  

a. The school nurse must assess each request for medication individually.  The decision to administer is at the discretion of the school nurse in consultation with the district physician and/or the student’s physician. These may include but are not limited to:

1.  Alternative medications, including herbal, non-prescriptive meds

2.  Research medications

3.  Controlled substances

4.  Medications that exceed manufacturers guidelines

5.  Medications not approved by the FDA

b. All protocol, paperwork and safeguards apply for administration of the medication as stated previously in this policy.


Non-Discrimination Statement

Iron County School District is committed to a policy of equal employment opportunity and does not discriminate in the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment on account of race, age, color, sex, national origin, physical or mental disability, or religion or otherwise as may be prohibited by federal and state law.

School District Office

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