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OTC Meds and the 18 yr old student

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KeeperOfTheIceRN has 4 years experience as a ADN.

114 Likes; 1 Follower; 6,859 Visitors; 534 Posts

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Hey guys!

How do y'all handle your 18 year olds with OTC meds? I have a senior with a baggie of ibuprofen gel caps (yes, I'm positive that's honestly what they are) and my principal asked if she is allowed to take it on her own since she is 18. Our policy currently does not consider age, so I told her the same rules apply to her as they do to all of the others on campus (med auth with parent and MD signature or no meds). Just curious to know if you take into consideration your 18 year old students.

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ruby_jane has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN.

956 Likes; 2 Followers; 6,742 Visitors; 1,976 Posts

Believe it or not....I miss those days.

If the 18-yo student had an unexpired bottle of OTC medication, I would let him/her check it in to the office, sign the OTC consent form, and present at will (just like any other student). My current district does not allow OTC meds without a doctor's note, so there's that. Perhaps that's a policy that needs to be addressed. In my daughter's district at the high school level, a few doses (3-4) of OTC med may be carried by the student. Rx meds have to be checked in.

And in nursing, I have never gone wrong by following the rules, even if it inconveniences people I like. When I do get in trouble, it's because I've made an exception. Stay strong!! 

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KeeperOfTheIceRN has 4 years experience as a ADN.

114 Likes; 1 Follower; 6,859 Visitors; 534 Posts

8 minutes ago, ruby_jane said:

Believe it or not....I miss those days.

If the 18-yo student had an unexpired bottle of OTC medication, I would let him/her check it in to the office, sign the OTC consent form, and present at will (just like any other student). My current district does not allow OTC meds without a doctor's note, so there's that. Perhaps that's a policy that needs to be addressed. In my daughter's district at the high school level, a few doses (3-4) of OTC med may be carried by the student. Rx meds have to be checked in.

And in nursing, I have never gone wrong by following the rules, even if it inconveniences people I like. When I do get in trouble, it's because I've made an exception. Stay strong!! 

Our policy states we need MD orders for OTC meds too! This is our first senior class (its an exciting year with our first graduation coming up!) so this wasn't actually anything that was on my radar until now. I'll definitely be looking at updating our policy though. Part of me kind of feels it will be ok if she keeps it in her car and takes it there, but I'm also hesitant of that for those younger drivers wanting to do the same thing.

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magnoliablush has 1 years experience as a ASN, RN.

25 Likes; 486 Visitors; 40 Posts

Our policy is the same no matter the age. Form signed by parent, meds in locked cabinet. 

I’ve had parents question me, saying their kid is 18, why am I calling...but I just state the policy. I kind of understand, my college kid carried one dose of Tylenol or ibuprofen in her purse, per policy at her school. But she was educated on how hard meds are on the liver and kidneys. Lol...

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Flare is a ASN, BSN and works as a School nurse firefighter.

295 Likes; 2 Followers; 5 Articles; 33,475 Visitors; 3,900 Posts

I'd want an order for any student regardless of age.  Also, said student would not be permitted to carry an otc such as advil - they can only carry / self admin epi, inhalers or insulin.  I suppose if they wanted to keep it in their car and the school admins were ok with students "getting things" from their cars, then i'd have no control over whether or not they had a bottle of advil out there, but i also wouldn't advertise that as a great idea or alternative to getting an order.    

 

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ruby_jane has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN.

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1 hour ago, KeeperOfTheIceRN said:

Our policy states we need MD orders for OTC meds too! This is our first senior class (its an exciting year with our first graduation coming up!) so this wasn't actually anything that was on my radar until now. I'll definitely be looking at updating our policy though. Part of me kind of feels it will be ok if she keeps it in her car and takes it there, but I'm also hesitant of that for those younger drivers wanting to do the same thing.

If you have drug dogs randomly searching the parking lot, they will sound on most medications. They sounded on a kid's Accutane and MAN, that was a fun conversation with a parent. In Texas, we just don't encourage that practice as most months the car temp is well over 90 degrees. Now is not one of those months, though. 

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SaltineQueen works as a School Nurse.

185 Likes; 1 Follower; 5,584 Visitors; 640 Posts

Our policy says that "students" cannot carry medication (with the exception of rescue meds).  Even though they may turn 18, when they're in your building they're "students."

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KeeperOfTheIceRN has 4 years experience as a ADN.

114 Likes; 1 Follower; 6,859 Visitors; 534 Posts

7 minutes ago, SaltineQueen said:

Our policy says that "students" cannot carry medication (with the exception of rescue meds).  Even though they may turn 18, when they're in your building they're "students."

Yes! This is ultimately what I told my principal. I've decided that if I start letting the 18 year olds carry OTC meds, then I'm basically picking and choosing who I apply my policy to and that can and will go wrong so fast! So I've decided our policy is our binding contract and its not going to change :)

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NutmeggeRN has 25 years experience and works as a HS Nurse.

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I think our policy may be changing to 'Shall not share" vs "shall not carry". However, I'll not be sharing that with anyone. I know the HS kids carry especially for afterschool sports and activities.

 

I always educate them on the possibility that "someone may, in fact, be allergic to ibuprofen or Tylenol, and if they take "YOURS" you could be on the hook for that"...

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pedi_nurse has 5 years experience and works as a School Nurse.

105 Likes; 2 Followers; 1,858 Visitors; 246 Posts

Our state law says that students can't carry any medication except for epipens, insulin, and inhalers. I agree with ruby jane and would require the student to sign their own paperwork and come to the clinic to get the med. I'm at a middle school though, so it's all hypothetical for me.

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aprilmoss has 20 years experience and works as a School Nurse.

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While we allow the 18+ students to do all the things we would require parental consent for, that doesn't alter the rules we have regarding medication in the building.   They still need a doctor's note and with the exception of a few arduously hammered out exceptions (diabetic supplies, inhalers, and epipens), these must not be carried by the student.

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