Self-Directed Administration of Medication by WSSB Students (Policy)

Policy Approve By
Scott McCallum, Superintendent
Policy Date (original policy date)
Revised (date text was last updated)
Policy Prepared By
Justine Mings, RN; Robin Williams, RN
Policy Category


The purpose of the self-directed medication program is to promote personal responsibility, self-esteem, and independence by teaching students the skills required to independently and properly prepare and take prescribed routine medications.


Self-directed administration of medication is permitted only for students who demonstrate appropriate abilities, who have the permission of the parent/guardian, and upon recommendation from WSSB nurses.  Self-directed administration of medication should also be a part of the student's individual education program (IEP).  This program is implemented by nursing staff and is closely monitored by nursing staff, and residential staff when the lockbox is in the cottage.

All prescription and non-prescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medications and supplements must be brought to the Health Center immediately upon arrival to campus. Medication supplies exceeding the weekly dosage(s) in the student’s lockbox will be stored in the Health Center.

If prescription medications are brought from home, they must be in their original containers and appropriately labeled with the following information: name of student, name of drug, dosage of drug, medication times, and expiration date.  Medications may be sent to the pharmacy for bubble packing.  It is recommended that all prescription and non-prescription medications be ordered through the local pharmacy.

Non-prescription medications must be in their original containers.  All medications that are “as needed” will be left in the Health Center for administration by the nurse.  Exceptions may be made for emergency medications, such as Epi-Pens and rescue inhalers.

Medications should be taken within the time window of 30 minutes before or 30 minutes after the scheduled medication time.  If a medication was taken at a different time than the scheduled time, the discrepancy and the reason for the discrepancy must be documented.

There are three levels to the self-directed medication program: Level 1 - Beginner, Level 2 - Intermediate, and Level 3 - Advanced. Each level promotes a progressively higher degree of independence and responsibility. Failure to follow the prescribed program requirements may result in the student’s removal from their current program level, or from the self-directed medication program entirely. 

The self-directed medication program is a privilege, not a right.  To participate in the self-directed medication program the student must exhibit a high standard of responsibility and be willing and capable of learning about proper medication management.

Situations which may result in lock box removal include, but are not limited to, not showing up at scheduled medication times or lockbox refills, failure to document on the student calendar medication administration record (MAR), incorrect medication administration, or leaving the medications unsecure.  If a student is continually non-compliant with the self-directed medication program, the self-directed medication program may be terminated for that student for the remainder of the school year.