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JLCD - Administering Medication

Policy JLCD

Adopted: Originally 1992; November 4, 2010
Amended: March 24, 2016


This policy encourages collaboration with parents/guardians in ensuring that students who require medication will be able to attend school, and that medications required by students during the school day are properly administered. No medication is to be administered unless the procedures outlined in this policy are followed.

Management of the Medication Administration Program

The school nurse supervises and documents medication administration in each school, and is responsible for the safe and appropriate storage of all medications. School nurses must document and report any medication errors to the school principal and to the district Nurse Leader, who will assist the nurse in an appropriate response to the error and communication with the parents of the affected child(ren).

The Nurse Leader will consult with the District Physician to develop procedures for the administration of medication in the schools and responses to any medication emergency and will review these procedures with school nurses at the beginning of each year.

Procedures for Medication Administration

A. Prescribed Medications Administered by the School Nurse

All medications must be brought to the school nurse by the student’s parent, guardian, or a responsible adult except those medications that are already approved by the parent/guardian and school nurse for self-administration (as referenced in Section B below).

For the medication to be administered, the parent/guardian must provide a completed, signed, and dated Authorization for Dispensing Medication Form (JLCD-FRM1) that includes all required information, including the licensed prescriber’s order. The medication must be in an original pharmacy bottle that includes the student’s name, medication name and dosage, frequency of administration, name of licensed prescriber, and the date of the prescription.

For short-term prescribed antibiotic treatments (i.e., 10 days or fewer), the pharmacy labeled container may be used in lieu of the licensed prescriber’s order. The parent/guardian must complete the top section of the authorization form (JLCD-FRM1). If the school nurse has a question, the nurse may request a licensed prescriber’s order.

B. Prescribed Medications that are Self-Administered

For self-administration, the nurse may require a licensed provider to provide a written order. The school nurse may consult with teachers, and the student and his/her/their parent or guardian to determine a safe place for storing medication to be self-administered.

The following conditions must be met:

  • The school nurse must develop a medication administration plan pursuant to 105 CMR 210.005 (E) that contains the elements necessary to ensure safe self-administration of the medication.
  • The school nurse must evaluate the student’s health status and abilities in order to deem self-administration appropriate for the individual student. The school nurse must be reasonably confident that the student is able to:
    • Consume or apply the prescription medication in the manner directed by the licensed prescriber, without any additional assistance or direction,
    • Identify the appropriate medication,
    • Understand the frequency and time of day for which the medication is ordered, and
    • Follow the self-administration protocols.
  • The parent/guardian, nurse, and student must sign the Authorization for Self-administration Form (JLCD-FRM2 or JLCD-FRM3) that specifies the conditions under which the prescription medication can be administered,
  • The school nurse must document self-administration of the prescription medication and establish and follow a policy for safe storage that provides students with accessibility and a backup supply.

Administration of Epinephrine (Epi-Pen)

Administration of epinephrine may be delegated under the conditions listed below to unlicensed school personnel to enable administration in a life threatening situation when a nurse is not present or available (such as when students are riding the bus, on field trips, or engaged in other out of school short-term activities.) Delegation of administration is provided that:

  • All conditions of MA 105 CMR 210.100 are met by the school, and
  • The school district has current registration with the Department of Public Health for delegating such authority.

Bus drivers will not be required to administer an Epi-Pen unless hired after March, 2010, when state law requires training in the “administration of an epinephrine auto injector.” However, this law does not prevent a bus driver from voluntarily being trained. Bus drivers who are not trained will immediately call 911 if a student is having an allergic reaction.

Administration of Over-the-Counter Medications

The school nurse may administer over-the-counter medications without a licensed prescriber’s order in compliance with the administration requirements of the Massachusetts Board of Registration and only if the following has been done:

  • The top part of the JLCD-R1 form has been completed, signed, and dated by parents.
  • Parents provide the medication in the original container with the student’s name clearly written on it.

Legal References:

M.G.L. c. 71 §54B

M.G.L. Title XIV Public Ways and Works, c.90 §8A

105 CMR 210.005(E)

105 CMR 210.006105

105 CMR 210.100

Procedure References:

JLCD–FRM1 Authorization for Dispensing Medication

JLCD–FRM2 Authorization for Self-Administration

JLCD–FRM3 Authorization for Dispensing Medication Self-Administration Form for Students on Overnight & Out of State Trips

School Committee Policies