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Information to support safe and effective medication management practices in education and care services.
The Medication management in education and care procedure (PDF 411KB) describes how to manage medications in an education and care setting, and to plan and safely manage medication administration for children and young people.
‘Medication’ includes all prescribed, non-prescribed, over the counter and alternative therapies (vitamins, minerals, supplements) that are administered in an education or care service. Education and care services can only administer medication orally, inhaled or topically.
Medication that requires administration three times per day can generally be administered from home outside of school hours (in the morning, after school and in the evening).
Medication in education and care services: information for families provides an overview of the procedure and an outline of the responsibilities for parents and legal guardians.
Medication cannot be administered in an education or care service without a medication agreement - HSP151 (DOC 132KB) that has been completed by a treating health professional or pharmacist (for over the counter medication) and authorised by the parent or legal guardian, except for an asthma puffer or EpiPen® when this is used as an emergency response medicine.
Where multiple medications are required to be administered in an education or care service a multiple medication agreement - HSP152 (DOC 142KB) can be completed by the health professional or pharmacist.
Where midazolam has been prescribed as an emergency medicine for seizures an INM medication agreement - HSP153 (DOC 152KB) must be completed by the treating health professional and authorised by the parent or legal guardian.
Self-administration of medication
The decision as to whether a child or young person can carry their own and/or self-administer medication is made by the site leader in consultation with the parent and young person by completing the carrying and/or self-administration of medication decision making tool - HSP154 (DOC 132KB).
Health care plan
Where medication is prescribed for a known health condition the parent or legal guardian should provide a health care plan that has been completed by the treating health professional.
Health support agreement
A health support agreement - HSP120 (DOC 121KB) and safety and risk management plan - HSP121 (DOC 131KB) may be developed to document individualised management and medication administration requirements. These are completed by the parent and education or care service.
The following eight rights are the standard measures used at education or care services for safe administration practices.
- right patient (identification of ‘child or young person’)
- right medication to be given
- right dose (what is the child or young person’s weight? how much medication is to be given?)
- right strength (administering the same amount of a medicine of a different strength will mean either over or under dosing the child or young person)
- right route (the path the medication is taken - topical, oral, inhaled)
- right method (are there special instructions for medication administration ie to be taken with food)
- right time
- right documentation
General use medications that must never be available for first aid include analgesics such as aspirin, paracetamol or ibuprofen as they can mask signs and symptoms or serious illness or injury.
In an emergency staff will provide a general emergency response (for example, call an ambulance). Where an emergency response requires the immediate administration of medication to prevent serious illness or injury, staff must administer the required medication.
Adrenaline autoinjectors and asthma reliever puffers may be administered as a first aid emergency response to any child, young person, staff or visitor.
Individual first aid plan
An individual first aid plan - HSP124 (DOC 143KB) is completed by the treating health professional where a child or young person has a known health condition and the first aid response is NOT the standard first aid response for that health condition.
Medication error or incident
Where the incorrect dose or incorrect medication has been administered:
- If the child or young person has collapsed or is not breathing phone 000 (Ambulance) immediately and follow standard first aid
- If there is no immediate adverse reaction phone Poisons Information Centre on 131 126 and follow the advice given
- where advice indicates the child or young person is able to remain at the education or care service; ensure additional supervision for the child or young person to monitor for any delayed adverse reactions
- Notify the parent or legal guardian
- Document in the Medication Log
- Complete a Medical Incident Form or Medication Advice Form and forward to parent or legal guardian
- Report on Incident and Response Management System (IRMS) (staff login required)
- Review medication management and administration procedures at the education or care service to identify areas for improvement
Your local pharmacy or the Women’s and Children’s Hospital Pharmacy may be able to assist with non-urgent medication information and advice:
- Email: cywhs.druginfocentre [at] sa.gov.au
- Phone: (08) 8161 7350
Education and care services must have at least one designated first aider trained in HLTAID004 Emergency First Aid Response in an Education and Care Setting in attendance at all times who is immediately available to administer first aid and emergency response medication.
Women’s and Children’s Hospital Disability Services are developing an online Paediatric eLearning Medication Tool to support staff in the safe management and administration of medicines in an education or care service. When available, the Department for Education recommends all staff undertake this online training.
The Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS) provide basic training in medication management. Further information on face to face or online training is available on the RDNS Disability Training and Support webpage. For training enquiries contact RNDS
- Phone 1300 364 264
- Email bookings.disabilities [at] rdns.org.au
The Health Objective can be contacted to provide medication management training to education and care services. For further information contact Allison Willis
Phone: 0409 674 367
Email: healthobjective [at] westnet.com.au
Specialised training is required for administration of some medications including:
|Adrenaline autoinjectors||Adrenaline is emergency medication required for the treatment of anaphylaxis
Emergency response for anaphylaxis in included in the HLTAID004 Emergency First Aid Response training
All Department for Education staff should complete the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) free e-training course on anaphylaxis management in Education and care services
|Insulin||Insulin is medication used to manage blood glucose levels in people with diabetes.
Refer to Women’s and Children’s Hospital Endocrinology and Diabetes Department for training and/or advice from the Diabetes Nurse Educator (Phone: 08 8161 6402)
|Intranasal Midazolam (INM)||INM is emergency medication required for the treatment of seizures.
INM administration is included in Epilepsy and Seizure First Aid available through Epilepsy Centre, Epilepsy Action Australia; and Australian Red Cross
|Oxygen||Oxygen is often used as an emergency medication.
Where a child or young person has been prescribed or requires oxygen they must be referred to the Access Assistant Program (AAP) or RN Delegation of Care Program.
|Salbutamol (Ventolin puffers)||Salbutamol is used to treat asthma and as an emergency medication required for an asthma attack
Emergency response for asthma is in included in the HLTAID004 Emergency First Aid Response training
The Department for Education recommends all staff completed the Asthma Australia free online course Asthma First Aid for Schools
First aid plan
Health support agreement
- HSP120 Health support agreement
- HSP121 Safety and risk management plan
- HSP122 Offsite safety and risk management plan
- Incident and Response Management System (IRMS) (staff login required)
- Medication error, incident, query or advice flowchart
- HSP323 Medical advice form for anaphylaxis and severe allergies
- HSP157 Medication advice form
Planning and management tools
Disability Policy and Programs
Phone: 8226 1769
Email: education.specialeducation [at] sa.gov.au