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When Nannies Administer Medication

When it comes to caring for children, it’s not uncommon for kids to develop illnesses that require either over-the-counter or prescription medications. For families with nannies, the responsibility of administering may be shared between the parents and the nanny.

To prevent medication mix-ups, it’s essential that there is a clear, written policy in place for both parents and nannies to follow with regards to administering medication.

First and foremost, the policy should include a statement that articulates that the nanny should only administer medication, including over-the-counter medication, with the parents’ consent. This consent should be in writing or given electronically via text or email to prevent verbal miscommunication.

Second, all medications should be properly stored in their original packaging with prescribing orders and kept out of reach and sight of the children.  Any included instructions should also be kept with the medication along with the proper dosing instrument, usually an oral syringe or a calibrated cup.

Third, medication duties should be clearly defined. The fewer number of people responsible for administering medication the less likely a mix-up is to occur. If a child is scheduled to receive a morning, afternoon and evening dose of medication, assign who is responsible for administering each dose.

Fourth, the instructions should be clearly presented. Parents must be sure that their child’s nanny clearly understands the instructions for administering the medication. She should be able to articulate back what the medication is for, the correct dosing instructions and how the medication should be given, handled and stored. She should also be made aware of potential side effects and be able to articulate what conditions would require immediate medical attention.

Fifth, a log book should be kept and completed. A medication grid should be created that leaves boxes for each dose that must be given. The dosing instructions should be clearly written across the top. For each dose box fill in the exact time the medication was given, the amount of medication that was administered and the initials of the person who administered the medication. The log should be reviewed prior to administering each dose.

Regardless of who is giving medication the basic nursing rule of three should be followed. The medication label should be checked three times prior to giving the medication. The first time when you pick up the medication and remove it from where it’s being stored, the second when you are preparing to give it and the third when you go to give it.

For children who require ongoing medical treatment, parents may wish to hire a nanny with a nursing background. Morningside Nannies represents nannies who have backgrounds as nursing students, certified nursing assistants and licensed practical nurses. To learn more about our current pool of qualified candidates, contact a placement specialist today at (713) 526-3989.

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