School secretaries dispensing meds?

  1. Is it true that in some districts, teachers or secretaries may dispense student medications? I was reading about a rural area that allegedly could not afford to hire a nurse that instead had a secretary giving anticonvulsant meds to a student. I'm not a school nurse, but I'm appalled that the locality thinks so little of its population that it won't provide a nurse and then to overburden a teacher/secretary with duties that are beyond his/her scope of practice...
    Does the state legislature create a statute that allows this practice?
    Anyone with knowledge of these sorts of issues?
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    About Gldngrl

    Joined: Apr '03; Posts: 235; Likes: 5


  3. by   VivaLasViejas
    Scary, isn't it?
  4. by   Gldngrl
    Yes! This is so outside the realm of my experience...I have no children and don't really deal with these sorts of issues. I thought things were bad with the eviserating of nurses from hospitals, but to find out that politicians gut them from schools because the budget can't (Won't) afford them is horrendous.
  5. by   MomNRN
    In our district, it is "supposed" to be a teacher or principal in the absence of the nurse. I am sure some secretaries may have to be responsible in the absence of the principal too!

    Many schools share a nurse so there are frequent times that they are out of the building. I am lucky to be full-time in one building only.

    I know of a district in Illinois that doesn't even employ nurses. I can't imagine how that is possible.
  6. by   memphispanda
    My kids have a school nurse one half day each week. That is all. Meds are dispensed by the designated med person--basically one of the secretaries. There is no one else to do it.
  7. by   Gldngrl
    Has the ANA presented a position on this? If there are no nurses in the schools, there are missed opportunities for children to be evaluated for vision/hearing difficulties, situational issues, etc.
  8. by   Shamrock
    In Kansas, it is in the nurse practice act regarding this situation.
    The duties are delegated by a RN, who has taught a class on medication administration and is overseeing the process.
  9. by   cpgrn
    Even though I am full time on one campus, I have two buildings. The secretaries will allow students to use their inhalers in the office. As far as any other medications - NO. They call me on the radio and, if I couldn't make it on time (due to taking a student home or something) they are instructed to call 911. That's if it's an emergency that can't wait! If it's a bloody nose or something like that, it can wait and will usually stop before I get to the student. Our kids are older - 6 -8th grade and most of them use their inhalers freely with minor supervision.