Elementary School Secretaries' Experiences and Perceptions of Administering Prescription Medication

By Price, James H.; Dake, Joseph A. et al. | Journal of School Health, December 2003 | Go to article overview

Elementary School Secretaries' Experiences and Perceptions of Administering Prescription Medication


Price, James H., Dake, Joseph A., Murnan, Judy, Telljohann, Susan K., Journal of School Health


Children attending school often require prescription medication either as part of an acute illness (episodic care) or for chronic illnesses (long-term basis). A study of stimulant medication at two Virginia school districts found that between 8% and 10% of second- through fifth-grade students were taking such medications. (1) A survey in Maryland reported that 3.7% of public elementary school children took stimulant medication. (2) An article in the Chicago Tribune in 1998 claimed that 3% to 5% of students in Illinois schools received some form of medication, and a national survey of school nurses found an average of 5.6% of children received medication at school during a typical day. (3) Such a prevalence of medication use at school by children requires an accurate understanding of school medication policies, experiences of school personnel administering children's medication, and medication training needs of school personnel. (4)

Administration and management of medication in the public schools by school personnel can be problematic. (5) The right drug in the right amount must be given to the right student at the right time. (6) School nurses are the primary health professionals who manage student health and the administration, tracking, and storage of children's prescription medication. (7) However, decreasing budgets for school systems often mean that school health services, and thus school nurses, are not seen as a primary mission of schools. Thus, while it might be ideal for all prescription medication to be given in schools by school nurses, this likely will not happen nationally in the foreseeable future. School nurses are usually limited in numbers, and often given the responsibility to cover more than one school. This approach results in a high nurse-to-student ratio, which makes it impossible for school nurses to meet all the medication administration needs of students. (8)

Limited school expenditures for school nursing services has resulted in unlicensed assistive personnel (principals, teachers, secretaries) being delegated the task of dispensing medication. (9) The School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS) found that 92% of states, 94% of school districts, and 97% of schools allowed school faculty and staff to administer prescription medication to students as long as it was properly documented. (10) Use of unlicensed personnel has created concern over student well-being and legal ramifications should errors occur in administration of medication. (11,12) While state nursing regulations permit delegation of nursing tasks to personnel trained under certain guidelines, this process remains controversial. (13,14) A national study of medication practices among school nurses found that 75.6% of nurses delegated medication administration to other school personnel, with school secretaries the most common (66%) group taking that responsibility. (9)

To date, no one has published a study on school secretaries' concerns and experiences administering student prescription medication. This study assessed a national random sample of elementary school secretaries regarding their experiences and perceptions with prescription medication. The survey offers further insight regarding whether such delegation compromises health care received by elementary school children.

METHODS

Subjects

Potential participants were selected from the complete list of US public schools (n = 96,570) available from the US Department of Education. (14) The list initially was refined to include only schools located within the 50 United States, classified as regular schools, and with traditional elementary school grades (pre-K, K, or grade 1 through grades 5 or 6). The list was further refined by eliminating the upper and lower extremes (+/- 2 standard deviations from the mean) regarding school size. The final result was a potential population of 35,160 from which a sample of 600 schools was randomly selected. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Elementary School Secretaries' Experiences and Perceptions of Administering Prescription Medication
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.