Curious about how to handle this situation..

  1. 0
    I'm a student nurse and this is just a "what would you do" question.

    My husband went to a church camp this weekend and was a cabin leader for 15 ten year olds. There is no formal med policy at this camp, it's pretty casual.

    A kid (who he didn't know) handed him a bag of meds with instructions from his mom and said "mom said to give this to the cabin leader". So dh took the meds and put them in his bag. He ended up coming home the second night and accidently brought the kid's meds home with him, before he left to take them back I looked and noticed what they were.

    2x zyrtec
    2x benadryl
    2x ibuprofen

    to be given each night. I told dh those were double the dose for a 10yo and I wouldn't give that kid those meds at those doses if I were him. I didn't attend the camp, but it got me wondering what would I do if I did? He just gave the meds to the cabin leader that replaced him.

    What are a "real nurse's" responsibilities at a casual event like this? Would you intervene or do you feel it's none of your business if you weren't the one supposed to give him his pills? Am I just a jumpy nursing student and there isn't anything wrong with the doses she sent? I'm very curious how you seasoned nurses would handle it.

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  2. 39 Comments...

  3. 5
    If I was not a nurse, just an adult along to supervise a church camp outing, I would call the mom and clarify the drugs, dose, when and why to give the meds. I would feel better if there were some one in charge I could refer to or some written policy about kids needing meds.

    As a nurse I would be even more concerned giving meds as my license would be "on the line." I would not go as a "nurse" unless it was clear to all parents, the church leaders, etc., that I was there as an adult helper/supervisor NOT as a nurse.

    The doses are probably fine for that child....but thank goodness for cell phones, just takes a phone call to confirm.
  4. 10
    Is it just me or do I think that this could be potentially "snowing" a 10 y/o to sleep thruout the nite? Like 'conked out'?
    Ginger's Mom, DawnJ, roser13, and 7 others like this.
  5. 0
    With double-double antihistamines, I'm sure he's sleeping good...

    I didn't like it at all, but was thinking I may be over-thinking it..
  6. 2
    Nurse or no nurse, I certainly would not be intentionally reviewing medications I had no business looking into whatsoever.
    RNOTODAY and netglow like this.
  7. 1
    What were the doses of these meds? 2 tablets doesn't really tell you anything as all of these meds are available in different doses/strengths. Assuming the Ibuprofen is 200 mg, the appropriate pediatric dose is 10 mg/kg and a 10 year old could easily weigh 40 kg. I have a six year old patient who weighs more than that. Zyrtec comes in 5 and 10 mg tablets and Benadryl comes in 12.5 and 25 mg.

    If it were me, I wouldn't have even LOOKED at the medications. I am not the child's nurse and what his parents give to him is between them and their medical team.
    weemsp likes this.
  8. 1
    So if a kid hands you a bag of meds that his mom said to give you, you would not look at them? How would you give the kid his medicine? I only looked at the meds in the first place to see if I knew the kid or the mom, because if I had, I would have seen if a friend at camp (45 min away) had the same med that could be given to keep my husband from having to drive back up there at 11:00 at night. I didn't know the mom, so he made the drive... If I had known her, I'd have called her and asked if it was ok to give her kid my dd's meds she had with her.

    I don't believe my "looking at" the med was wrong. When I saw them, I immediately thought about my husband's responsibility... Not unreasonable at all.
    Irish_Mist likes this.
  9. 0
    I didn't look at the bottles. It very well could have been just fine. That's not what I'm really asking (or that's not what I meant to ask in the first place). I'm more wondering about the responsibility a person (whether it be a nurse or just a cabin leader) has in this type of situation.
  10. 1
    I would think that giving meds would be similar to
    How it's done in the schools. Only with a doctors note and administered by a health
    Professional. As a mom, I'm fine giving other kids meds. As a nurse and possibly putting
    My license on the line of something happens, no I wouldn't be comfortable with it.
    MilliePieRN likes this.
  11. 0
    What you did, looking to see if you knew the child, or the child's mother, would actually be a HIPAA violation. Even though it seemed like you had good enough intentions, it really is none of your business.

    Now, if you we're the camp nurse, you would look to see what the medications are and follow your nursing judgement and camp protocols, and confirm with the parent. At least, that is what I would do, but I'm not a camp nurse, so I really don't know what others would do in this situation.

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