Elementary school secretaries' experiences and perceptions of administering prescription medication

J Sch Health. 2003 Dec;73(10):373-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2003.tb04179.x.


This study assessed elementary school secretaries' (n = 385) experiences and perceptions with student prescription medication. Sixty-nine percent (n = 246) reported dispensing student medication, and this group represents the focus of this study. One in four secretaries reported not receiving any training regarding administration of student medication. Of those who were trained, 28% received training of less than one hour, and 24% received training of one to two hours duration. Secretaries generally disliked the responsibility of dispensing medication to students, but felt prepared to do so. Most (63%) administered student medication five days per week. The most commonly administered categories included attention deficit/hyperactivity medication (92%), asthma medication (87%), and antibiotics (68%). Most (85%) reported they had made no medication errors during the past year.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medication Errors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Medication Systems* / standards
  • Middle Aged
  • School Health Services / organization & administration
  • School Health Services / standards*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Workforce