An RN is working as a school nurse in a local high school. The nurse has a health aide who also works in the health office. One of the students comes into the office for his daily dose of Singulair for control of asthma. Which best describes the nurse's consideration of delegating the administration of this drug to the health aide?

 

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Correct

- The nurse can delegate the action if the health aide has completed a documented training course for medication administration

- The health aide cannot administer the drug to the student because she is not a registered nurse

- The health aide can only administer drugs for ADHD or for pain in the high school setting

- The nurse can delegate the action only if she is observing the health aide give the drug

Rationale

-"The nurse can delegate the action if the health aide has completed a documented training course for medication administration" is correct. Many schools across the country employ health aides to work in the school health office. An RN may or may not be present in the health office at all times, but she can delegate the administration of some medications to students who have prescriptions to take while in school, as the state allows. The RN is responsible for the outcome of the delegation, but she can delegate the administration of some medications if the health aide has taken a training course and the RN has documented the aide's training.
-"The health aide cannot administer the drug to the student because she is not a registered nurse" is incorrect. Due to the increasing number of students for which a school nurse is held responsible, delegation to unlicensed assistive personnel has become increasingly common. Under the right circumstances, a health aide may administer medications.
-"The health aide can only administer drugs for ADHD or for pain in the high school setting" is incorrect because the type of medication allowed to be administered by the health aide varies. Regulations are different between states, and it us up to the RN to know what is appropriate for the state and district in which the nurse is employed. It is also the RN's responsibility to use the steps of nursing delegation regarding which tasks to delegate to the health aide.
-"The nurse can delegate the action only if she is observing the health aide give the drug" is incorrect because once the health aide is trained and the RN has observed and documented the aide's competency, the nurse does not need to be present for drug administration.

References:
National Association of School Nurses. (2015). Unlicensed assistive personnel: Their role on the school health services team (Position Statement). Silver Spring, MD. Retrieved June 7, 2018, from https://www.nasn.org/advocacy/professional-practice-documents/position-statements/ps-uap

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Question ID - 16170

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