School officials consider policy revisions after nurse gives student wrong meds

By Alisha Laventure - bio | email

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – School administrators in a Florence school district are reevaluating their school health policies after a school nurse gave a student the wrong medication.

The Superintendent of Florence School District One and other school officials are considering revisions to district policy and procedures that address the distribution of medication. This follows an incident in which a school nurse "inadvertently" administered medication to a third grader at Heights Delmae Elementary last Wednesday.     

"We are extremely sorry about this unfortunate incident," Florence One Superintendent Dr. Allie E. Brooks, Jr. stated in a press release. He said the incident is an isolated incident and has never previously occurred within the district.

"We feel very fortunate in the fact that no harm was brought to the student because of our error," he later stated.

Florence One Lead Nurse Sonya Best said the district is considering separate seating areas for students who regularly receive medication from the nurse's station and students with walk-in injuries.

The Superintendent said more than 200 students in Florence School District One receive daily medication from the school nurse. Students are required to have a doctor's note and parent's signature before a nurse can administer medication.

Officials said in a press release that the student's teacher gave him permission to go to the nurse's station for an unknown ailment. The nurse subsequently gave him Ritalin, a prescription drug used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

The nurse realized the error and immediately notified administrators and the parents. The child later followed up with his physician.

"I regret that this situation happened, but I would hope that this one situation does not take away from the wonderful job that our school nurses do on a regular basis," Principal Roy Ann Jolley disclosed. She said the student returned to school the day after the incident and has been doing fine.

The nurse involved has since been on administrative leave, pending an investigation of the incident. The superintendent said it is being investigated as a personnel matter.

Officials say she has served as the school nurse at Delmae Elementary since the start of the school year. She has served in the district for more than five years.

"We're entrusting people at the school to take care of our children, so it's really disturbing that something like this would happen," parent Shonna Taylor said. She believes more than one person should be responsible for administrating medications.

"When it comes to kids, especially, I don't think it should be any unlike a doctor's office."

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