Five Rights Of Medication Administration

The Right Student

  • The principal’s designee should make a list of students needing medications and their classroom assignments alternates for the principal’s designee should also know these students.
  • Each teacher/teacher substitute should have a list of students who require medications. The list should state the student’s name and time the medications should be administered.
  • Check the full name of the student. Always check and double check the name of the student on the medication bottle with the name of the student on the Authorization for Medication/Treatment Form, and the name of the student on the Student Medication Log. Verify the full name of the student standing in front of you. Always check the name three times.
  • Don’t be in a hurry. Even if you know the student. Have the student say his/her full name.
  • Never permit the student to obtain the medication from the medication cabinet. Never give the medication bottle to the student. Remove the correct dose from the container and give it to the student.
  • A copy of the Authorization for Medication/Treatment Form should accompany any student who is participating in a school sponsored field trip. If the trip includes overnight travel, the healthcare provider should complete an Authorization for Medication/Treatment Form to address the specific time a medication is required for the anticipated duration of the trip. Either the student’s parent or a principal’s designee trained in medication administration must be available to administer medication on the field trip.

Right Medication

  • Only administer the prescribed medication. Medication must be in its original container, clearly marked with the student’s name, name of the drug, dosage, time, route, name of the prescribing healthcare provider, date of prescription and name of dispensing pharmacy. Check the prescription against the Authorization for Medication/Treatment Form.
  • When receiving medication from a parent, the principal’s designee should pour out the medication onto a clean paper towel and count the medication in front of the parent. If liquid note the number of ounces marked on the side of the bottle. Document count on back of Student Medication Log, sign it and have parent sign it.
  • Students with chronic diseases may keep as much as one month’s supply of medications at school.
  • Be sure the Authorization for Medication/Treatment Form is current. The Authorization for Medication/Treatment Form must be renewed each year. Place expiration date in red at the top of the Authorization for Medication/Treatment Form. This makes a quick reference.
  • A new Authorization for Medication/Treatment Form is not necessary when a student transfers to another Broward County Public School. Give the parent a copy of the Authorization for Medication/Treatment Form until the student’s records are received at the new school.
  • Report to the parent the presence of any change in appearance of any medication and do not use any medication with any abnormalities, e.g. two different looking tablets in the same container.
  • Check the spelling of each medication on the Authorization for Medication/Treatment Form against the spelling on the prescription bottle.
  • Check the medication at least three times:
  • When removing the medication from its container
  • When placing it in the student’s hand
  • When replacing it into the cabinet
  • When giving over the counter medications, be sure to check the expiration date on the bottle. Do not administer the medication if outdated.

Right Dose

  • The principal’s designee should make sure the dose on the Authorization for Medication/Treatment Form matches the dose to be given on the prescription bottle.
  • Do not use any medications that appear altered, i.e. discolored or not the same type as the other pills in the bottle
  • Only administer medications that are in the original container, which is clearly marked with the student’s name, name of the drug to be administered, dose to be administered, time to be administered, physician’s name, and the pharmacy name and phone number.
  • Medications may only be administered in the dose ordered on the Authorization for Medication/Treatment Form.

Right Time

  • Never administer a medication more than half an hour before or after the scheduled time without checking with the healthcare provider first
  • If a student arrives at school late, check with the parent to verify if the student has had the scheduled medication prior to arriving at school.
  • Be certain the Authorization for Medication/Treatment Form has the proper date and time for administration of medication.
  • Call the parent and inform them any time a dose of medication is missed.

Right Route

  • When a medication is prescribed, the healthcare provider has determined the best route for administration of the medication.
  • Do not undo capsules, put into food, crush or grind tablets unless the healthcare provider has stated to do so on the Authorization for Medication/Treatment Form.