In recent years’ the number of children attending education settings with a variety of medication needs has increased. Acorn understands that medication training needs to take into consideration not only the needs of the child but also those of the staff team and others such as the LEA, OFSTED and Healthcare Professionals.
Our courses are delivered by Registered Nurses all of whom hold adult teaching qualifications supported by a professional qualification and considerable, hands on practical experience which is reflected in our grounded, pragmatic approach. We deliver a variety of different medication training courses in a variety of settings. These settings can be grouped as education and care.
Our medication courses consider the administration of medicines not only within the school setting but on residential trips and outings too. Giving participants the opportunity to discuss the different challenges that may be faced in these different environments and how policy may need to reflect this.
The main aims of our courses are to ensure:
The safe administration of medication in a school setting understanding the importance of correct:
- Recording of information
- Reporting of concerns and side effects.
The above is based on current legislation on general medication administration. Courses also include the guidance on use of emergency salbutamol inhalers and emergency adrenaline auto injection devices. How legislation allows schools to purchase these for use with children who already have them prescribed and how policy should be written to allow for this if schools choose to exercise this discretionary power.
Whilst training medication within education and preschool settings I encounter a number of misunderstandings I aim to offer clarity on these. Some common ones are:
- All medicines must be locked away
- Only prescribed medicines can be administered in a school setting
- Children can’t carry their own medication
Whilst some of these things are dependent on policy, it is useful to be clear on what current guidance allows. This helps inform policy decisions and ensures that organisations have a policy that works well for them:
- Pupils must have access to their medicine when required. They should know where their own medication is kept and who holds the key. Emergency medicines must not be locked away. Medicines such as asthma inhalers and auto-injection devices such as Epi Pens should not be locked and should be easily available for children when they need them. Exactly where these are stored will be based on risk assessment and factors such as setting size and layout. Other medicine should be stored safely and securely ensuring only those who need to are able to access them. Generally I advise the best way to ensure this is to have a lockable cupboard. Any controlled medicine must be locked away in a non-portable container. A register should be kept of anyone who has access to the controlled drugs container.
- Providing your organisational policy allows, with prior written parental permission, organisations are able to administer any medicine that it would be detrimental for the child not to have. This would include medicine not prescribed by a doctor. An example when this may be useful would be on a residential trip with medicines such a paracetamol for pain relief or anti-histamine for hay fever.
- Children are able to carry their own medication and should be encouraged to do so. The decision to allow a child to carry their own medication would be based on risk assessment taking in to account: the child, the medication, and other children. Parental consent should be recorded.
To book on the next course visit our website or call us on 0117 958 2070.
Should you have any further questions, or require information, support or training in the use of Administering Medication please do not hesitate to contact us or call 0117 958 2070
Sarah Street, RN