For the purposes of this procedure, an assigned officer is a staff member who voluntarily administers those medications that do not require specialised training from qualified health practitioners.
Controlled drugs (Schedule 8 drugs)
Prescription medication, such as Ritalin and dexamphetamine, which are restricted in their supply and use as they have the potential to cause dependence or be abused.
They are controlled substances and are to be in a locked cabinet when not being administered.
They are easily identified as the original packaging will be labelled ‘Controlled drug’.
For the purposes of this procedure, the delegate is selected by the principal and is a teacher who is a member of the senior management team with the capability and capacity to fulfil the responsibilities of the principal in relation to this procedure e.g. Deputy Principal, Head of Department, Head of Student Services, Head of Curriculum.
An overarching term describing documents completed by qualified health practitioners which provide the school with directions or guidelines to manage student’s health support needs. Health plans include Action Plans, Emergency Health Plans and Individual Health Plans.
A document developed by a medical professional to provide guidelines to safely manage a student’s health support need/s, for example anaphylaxis or asthma.
Emergency Health Plan (EHP)
A plan developed by a health professional (e.g. registered nurse) when a student’s health needs may require a response from school staff that extends beyond basic first aid. It provides clear step-by-step directions on how to safely manage a predictable medical emergency specific to certain chronic health conditions and the correct use of emergency medication. The plan is developed in consultation with the school staff, parent/carer, student, medical and other health professionals. The EHP is intended for use in the school setting only.
Individual Health Plan (IHP)
A plan developed by a health professional (e.g. registered nurse) that provides school staff with an understanding of a student’s health condition, and the reasonable adjustments required to support the student on a daily basis at school. The IHP describes the routine procedure required at school, including step by step instructions for performing the student’s health support procedure. The plan is developed in consultation with the school staff, parent/carer, student if appropriate, medical and other health professionals. The IHP is intended to be used in the school setting only.
Health support staff
For the purposes of this procedure, health support staff is a staff member (e.g. teacher-aide) who voluntarily performs a health support procedure as per the Managing students with health support needs procedure. This may involve the administration of medication e.g. insulin, Midazolam.
For the purposes of this procedure, medical authorisation may take the form of a prescribing health practitioner’s letter, a detailed health plan (signed by the prescribing health practitioner), the medication with a current pharmacy label with a prescribing health practitioners name listed, or a medication order.
Any preventable error in administration that may cause or lead to harm to a student.
A medication error includes any failure to administer medication as prescribed, such as administering:
- the wrong medication to a student
- medication at the wrong time
- an incorrect dose of medication to a student.
Medication errors in a school environment may occur for a variety of reasons, for example:
- student misidentification
- incomplete / inaccurate documentation
- misreading documentation
- confusion over the dose required
- not administering medication when required.
For the purposes of this procedure, a medication order is a document from a prescribing health practitioner which provides specific instructions and protocols for the safe administration of a medication.
For the purposes of this procedure, medications are categorised according to whether it has been medically authorised for a specific student, the frequency the medication is administered (e.g. routinely or only as needed), and if it is required as an emergency response or a non-emergency response.
Medication that has been authorised by a prescribing health practitioner under the Medicines and Poisons (Medicines) Regulation 2021 (Qld).
Medication required routinely for:
- short-term treatment of an acute condition e.g. one course of antibiotics to treat infection
- long-term or ongoing management of a specific disorder (e.g. attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) or health condition (e.g. cystic fibrosis, epilepsy, diabetes).
Medication authorised to be administered to a student ‘as needed’ in response to certain symptoms and in accordance with a medication order or health plan or written instructions from a prescribing health practitioner.
This medication may be administered:
- as a non-emergency response to known symptoms (e.g. antihistamine for hay fever, ointment for eczema)
- as an emergency response to symptoms of known medical conditions (e.g. Midazolam for specific seizures, adrenaline auto-injector for anaphylaxis, blue reliever for severe asthma).
Emergency first aid medication
Medication used as a first aid response and retained in the school’s first aid kit e.g. adrenaline auto-injectors for anaphylaxis, asthma reliever for asthma. It is dispensed in a device that non-medical personnel can be trained to use.
It is not medically authorised for a specific student.
Medications that can be purchased from pharmacies, supermarkets, health food stores and other retailers without a prescription from a qualified health practitioner. Examples include cold remedies, cough syrups, anti-fungal treatments, non-prescription analgesics such as paracetamol as well as alternative medicines (traditional or complementary) such as herbal, aromatherapy and homoeopathic preparations, vitamins, minerals and nutritional supplements.
Over-the-counter medication can only be administered at school if it has been medically authorised – see medical authorisation.
A label generated at the pharmacy that is attached to the original medication container including the:
- student’s name
- strength and description/name of the medication
- dose and route of administration (may include the duration of the therapy)
- initials/logo of the pharmacist responsible for dispensing the medication
- time or interval the medication is to be taken and
- any other relevant directions for use e.g. whether the medication is to be taken with food.
If the medication has been prescribed by a prescribing health practitioner, the pharmacy label will include their name.
Prescribing health practitioner
A qualified health professional who has completed the appropriate training, giving them the authority to prescribe certain medications under the Medicines and Poisons (Medicines) Regulation 2021 (Qld) e.g. doctor, dentist, optometrist, nurse practitioner. A pharmacist is not a prescribing health practitioner.
Qualified health practitioner
A health professional with the relevant licencing, skills and knowledge to assess, plan and evaluate care. This can be the student’s treating doctor or health team or State Schools Registered Nurse. Qualified health practitioners are registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency or are eligible for membership in the relevant national professional body.
A measure or action (or a group of measures or actions) taken by a school that has the effect of assisting a student with a disability to participate in education on the same basis as a student without a disability, and includes an aid, a facility, or a service that the student requires because of their disability (Ref: Section 3.3 in the Disability Standards for Education 2005).
For the purposes of this procedure, a review incident for the SMP includes when there is:
- substantial change to internal or external operations (e.g. change of principal);
- a non-compliant audit outcome; or
- a systemic issue is identified as a result of:
- failure of risk-management systems contributing to a critical or major incident, or
- a recurrence of undesirable incidents related to dealings with medicines, or
- a pattern of non-compliance with legislation, codes of practice or other requirements, including an SMP, across a substantial number of staff.
Route of administration
The method by which medication is administered. This may include:
- buccal: trickled into the mouth between the gum and the cheek and absorbed via the mucous membrane
- enteral: given via nasogastric or gastrostomy tube directly into the stomach
- inhalation: such as inhalers and spacers for asthma
- injection: a needle given into a fat layer or muscle through the skin e.g. adrenaline auto-injector or insulin
- nasal: dripped or sprayed into the nose and absorbed via the mucous membrane
- oral: swallowed e.g. in the form of a tablet, capsule or liquid
- rectal: inserted into the rectum e.g. suppositories or enemas
- sublingual: placed under the tongue and absorbed via the mucous membrane
- topical: substance applied directly on the skin or body part e.g. a cream, ointment, skin patch, ear/eye drops, gel.
For the purpose of this procedure, a school is a state school or state educational institution, including state outdoor and environmental educational centres and state school operated residential boarding facilities.
For the purposes of this procedure, secure means safe and out of reach of students.
Substance management plan (Medications) (SMP)
A document setting out how schools manage known and foreseeable risks associated with medicines/medications. Refer to Sections 93(1),(2),(3) & 94 of the Medicines and Poisons Act 2019