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If you are NOT allowed to dispense OTC meds

Posted

Specializes in Pediatrics, Community, and School Health. Has 21 years experience.

Do you wish you could? I have a form that parents sign that authorizes the following at my discretion: Tylenol, Advil, HC 1% ointment, TUMS, neosporin, and Benadryl. They can check all or be specific about what I can and cannot give to their kid. On the one hand it is nice to be able to give a kid with a headache medicine and send them back to class, but sometimes I feel like it is more trouble than it is worth. Sometimes the kid tells me they were given "something purple before school" and I am then calling to find out if they had a fever, if they got motrin or tylenol, etc. Should I be counting my blessings that I am allowed to dispense meds?

I have done it both ways. It is a pain to keep up with the OTC permission signatures and knowing that one kid can have a cough drop whereas the next one can only have a mint. One might get tylenol for a headache but the next can only have an ice pack. That part gets irritating to keep up with. I don't actually give the OTC meds I have access to unless it is a very last resort. I do appreciate knowing that I have the ability if necessary, and it has helped to keep the students in an education setting and keep them participating in their learning. It has come in very handy for those where you just know the parent won't be able to pick up the student that day for whatever reason.

Supernrse01

Specializes in Telemetry, Gastroenterology, School Nrs. Has 18 years experience.

I will administer OTC medications IF the parent has signed our medication release form AND provided the medication to the school. Even then, I still phone the parent to let them know their child is in the clinic with whatever the specific c/o may be. That way they know what time I am giving it and can clarify that the timing for administration isn't too close, in case the child had medication at home too.

I won't do a vague, "I give my permission for the nurse to administer OTC meds, X, Y, Z. Too much liability there, in my opinion, plus, that's me prescribing and that's out of my scope.

kidzcare

Has 5 years experience.

I would like to be able to do hydrocortisone, Neosporin, and cough drops. I think that some kids will ask to take Tylenol or motrin at the first pang of a headache if it is available.

I am so glad our district stopped the dispensing of OTC meds, majority of the frequent flyer visits for cough drops, tums etc stopped coming in. I find it much easier for me now that the parent needs to provide the OTC medication to dispense, although I realize it is a pain in the rear for those working parents that can't just stop what they are doing and leave work to bring tylenol or IBU to school.

I have standing orders for bacitracin, caladryl, wound cleanser, vaseline, aquaphor, and eucerine topicals and also for Epi-pen/Epi-pen Jr and benadryl with a specific dosing scale for "allergy symptoms". I'm glad I have the ability to give benadryl, it's saved me the trouble of parents having to pick kids up for allergy symptoms after recess or for dermatitis type issues. Some days I wish I could give Tylenol or Motrin, but most days I'm glad I don't have to deal with the hassle! If I notice a student complains frequently of headaches, I do let the parents know that I can give Tylenol, if I have a doctor's order and the parent provides the medication.

NurseBeans, BSN, RN, EMT-B

Specializes in school/military/OR/home health. Has 19 years experience.

In my district, every nurse keeps an emergency card on each student, which is collected at the beginning of the year. The back of the card lays out our procedure for a medical emergency (who we call, in what order, what we do when no one answers) and there are two signature lines, one for OTC meds and one for emergency transport. It's my signed consent to administer OTC meds as I see appropriate and we keep them after the year is over, just for the medical record. Most come back signed, and when they don't I call home and make sure they meant to leave it blank. Then I explain that with no OTC med permission I can only call and send their kid home with every headache. That usually gives them pause. But hey, it's their decision and I go with what they say. The first time a kid comes in with a need for tylenol I usually still call home first.

Sometimes I do wish I could say "sorry, can't help you" when the kid comes in asking for tylenol. But they and their parents know I have it...

Flare, ASN, BSN

Specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma.

i think it's better off that i can't give them. The kids that really want them end up getting me an order if they get headaches or cramps that bad that they want it from time to time. I have thought about if the ability to give a cough drop and scoot them out the door would make any difference, but i don't think it would - i think it would increase traffic and deplete my supply. As it is, i tell them no on the cough drops, but won't stop and frisk for Ricolas if i suspect that a kid has them. I have better things to do.

OldDude

Specializes in Pediatrics Retired.

I can, I do, but I wish it wasn't allowed. Like kidz mentioned, if the students know I have it, they are going to be here to use it. UGH

i think it's better off that i can't give them. The kids that really want them end up getting me an order if they get headaches or cramps that bad that they want it from time to time. I have thought about if the ability to give a cough drop and scoot them out the door would make any difference, but i don't think it would - i think it would increase traffic and deplete my supply. As it is, i tell them no on the cough drops, but won't stop and frisk for Ricolas if i suspect that a kid has them. I have better things to do.

Agree with this! I feel like I would have a line out the front door every morning medicating kids that were not treated at home!!! I would probably run out of stock meds by October.....

iggywench, ADN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, school nursing. Has 10 years experience.

I think it's better that I can't administer OTC meds. It would be nice with certain students, but I already feel like we are overused as a free community clinic, and I think that would just exacerbate the problem.

foggnm

Has 8 years experience.

That's interesting that your school provides medicines to students without any pharmacy safeguards. We do OTC but only with parent permission and supply.

bsyrn, ASN, RN

Specializes in Peds, School Nurse, clinical instructor. Has 22 years experience.

I would like to be able to do hydrocortisone, Neosporin, and cough drops. I think that some kids will ask to take Tylenol or motrin at the first pang of a headache if it is available.

Totally agree with this!

ohiobobcat

Specializes in ED, School Nurse.

I have standing orders for Tylenol, ibuprofen, bacitracin, Icy Hot, hydrocortisone, cough drops, calamine lotion, Tums, Benadryl, Epi-pens, lubricating eye drops, aloe vera, burn gel, Carmex (?- so specific!), vaseline, Eucerin, Orajel, albuterol (I have a stock inhaler).

I only have to have parental permission for Tylenol/ibuprofen. I stock it here at school. If I give albuterol or Benadryl, my orders state to call home to let the parents know what is going on and why I gave it. I give Benadryl for a significant rash or hives. It's not for "seasonal allergies".

I don't mind the OTC stuff. I remember my first year here we were running the flu shot clinic so I wasn't in my office for a few hours. A student stopped me in the hall and asked for ibuprofen for a headache. I told her I wasn't able to do that right now, but she was welcome to stop by when I was back in my office after the flu shot clinic is done. I later passed her in the hall again. She was on the phone with a parent asking to go home because of a her headache. I like to think I can keep students in school if I can give a student ibuprofen/Tylenol for a minor headache/ache/pain.

Amethya

Specializes in Cardiology, School Nursing, General. Has 5 years experience.

I can't give any medications to any students, unless it's signed by doctor and parent. I find it a bit dumb, especially if the parent gives me permission, but what else can I do?

BUT I can give medications to the staff's kids, so it's a bit weird here.

Blue_Moon, BSN, RN

Has 18 years experience.

Used to be able to and at first I was thinking what are we going to do for all these kids when they have a headache or stomach ache when they took our meds away. Now I'm glad. I don't have the constant traffic. If kids are always needing medicine then they need to see a dr for a diagnosis. Also, it's amazing how many kids can now make it through the day without medicine. All of them most of the time.

WineRN

Specializes in NCSN. Has 4 years experience.

We have a standing order for Tylenol (for fever over 101 only) albuterol, Vaseline, and caladryl.

All other OTCs need both parent and med signatures and I don't like it. With how much screen time is built into schools now, I would love to have something better that rest and water for headaches

MrNurse(x2), ADN

Specializes in IMC, school nursing. Has 28 years experience.

I can't give any medications to any students, unless it's signed by doctor and parent. I find it a bit dumb, especially if the parent gives me permission, but what else can I do?

BUT I can give medications to the staff's kids, so it's a bit weird here.

Staff kids going home means staff going home, yup, makes perfect sense.:yes::up: