Medication management is a common thread among camps. Church Mutual understands your on-going commitment to meet the needs of your campers who require medication, while also complying with state regulations. It is important to be aware of, and understand the laws surrounding this topic.
Who has the authority to administer and provide medication can vary by state. Medication management decisions are influenced by pharmacy regulations, health care providers, and the Nurse Practice Act. Usually, a physician is the only one who can determine what medication needs to be used and under what circumstances. Often the physician can delegate a decision regarding medication to a nurse through medical protocols. Again, because these regulations can vary by state you should consult with your local legal counsel to determine what statutes are in place, the administrative agency laws, and rules of the medical licensing boards. This well help you to determine the specifics on who at your camp can administer medications, and under what circumstances.
Prescribed medication should only be administered by a trained adult per the directions of the parents/guardians. Prior to the start of camp, leaders should work with parents (and the child’s physician as necessary) to develop a written action plan to address medical needs. There should be specific direction for items such as epi pens, inhalers, etc. This should be accompanied by a Release, Waiver and Indemnity Agreement as well as an Authorization for Medical Treatment.
We also recommend that all camps have medication policies and procedures in place. When creating your medication management policy, the first step is to define “what is medication.” Does it pertain to prescription pills only, or over the counter as well? Other points to consider:
The camp should determine where medication will be stored, how it is secured, and who has access to it. Medication should always be provided and stored in its original, marked container along with directions for when and how it should be administrated. Dates should be monitored to ensure it has not expired. Proper protocol should also be in place for medications that need to be refrigerated
Explain the process for how medication will be administered to campers, and how it will be recorded. Dosage, time, etc. Have this in place for both medication that is given on a regular basis, and which is needed in an emergency situation.
Outline and describe what medications and supplies are stocked in the first aid kit. Have a protocol to determine for which it should be used.
As the number of campers requiring medication continues to rise, it’s important to know the regulations in your state. Consult with legal counsel, and be aware of state and federal laws. This will ensure you are in accordance with compliance, and help protect your organization from liability.
We’re here to help! For additional questions, contact Church Mutual Insurance Company’s Risk Control Central.
The information contained in this article is intended solely to provide general guidance on topics that may be of interest to you. While we have made reasonable efforts to present accurate and reliable information, Church Mutual Insurance Company disclaims all liability for any errors or omissions, or for any actions you take or fail to take based on this article. The information provided may not apply to your particular facts or circumstances; therefore, you should seek professional advice prior to relying on any information that may be found in this article.