Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

Staff Medication & Sickness


Guest
 Share

Recommended Posts

Could I ask what other settings policies are with regards to staff and medication & sickness.

 

i ask because the other day a member of staff took a paracetamol tablet in the nursery room (using water from the tap).

 

Do you think I am right to think this inappropriate, and that medication should not be kept in pockets or bags within the main nursery area (tablets could drop on the floor) and should be taken in staff room or kitchen.

 

Secondly, when a member of staff is taking medication for any reason, should they let the manager know who will record what it is they are taking and how often they need to take it, in order to monitor what actually is consumed (may make staff members drowsy) and how often they need to be excused from the room. Or is this invading their privacy?

 

Thirdly, is it fair to expect to be told when a member of staff is suffering from an ailment which may mean they need to be excused to visit the bathroom on more occasions than usual. Generally, we try to ask staff to use the toilet on their breaks (obviously if they need to go, they need to go, but may be able to hold it until a convenient time?!) Our bathoom is in a seperate building from the nursery and is also where mobile phones are kept, I can't sometimes help wondering if frequent toilet visits are , in fact, trips to the mobile phone.

 

I'd like to get this right and fair, so would welcome your comments.

 

Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would consider it inappropriate for a member of staff to be storing and taking paracetamol or any drug in the room where the children are - all drugs should be stored/locked away out of children's reach so I think you are right to question that.

 

Your other two questions are a little less clear cut - I think it very much depends on the individual member of staff, how well you know them and hiow they need to be managed. I would expect a conscientious member of staff to let me know of any mediciation or ailment that they have that may affect their capacity to work with the children effectively and therefore wouldn't expect to have to set down formal expectations and paperwork relating to it. However, as you say, there may be members of staff that abuse that trust and your expectations and you may have to deal with those individuals differently.....so you might set up a blanket policy that you know some members of staff don't need but covers all if you see what I mean!!! :o

 

It's all down to that lovely issue of staff management isn't it! xD

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The following is an extract from our sample policy on smoking, alcohol and drugs...

 

Drugs

Illegal substances

The taking or possession of illegal substances during working hours constitutes gross misconduct and will result in immediate dismissal.

 

Prescribed drugs

If it is necessary to take prescribed drugs during working hours, the nursery manager or senior member of staff should be informed upon arrival at work. Medication should be brought in the original box, complete with pharmacist instruction. Arrangement should be made for the safe storage out of the reach of children.

 

Non-prescribed drugs

If it is necessary to have non-prescribed drugs on nursery site (such as headache tablets) you should take the responsibility for ensuring that they are out of the reach of children and kept with your personal belongings.

 

Should medication need to be taken, it should be done so on scheduled breaks or away from the children.

 

I think that a manager/room leader is within their rights to know if work could be affected by the taking of drugs (prescription or non-prescription) and likewise if they are not feeling well and may need to leave the room for a toilet break/fresh air if needed.

 

Not sure what you can do about the phone issue... only if you have suspicions of calls being made during non-breaks can you speak to staff about it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mine is similar to RB, staff are required to inform me of all medication they are taking, if taking unprescribed drugs they must be their own, not given to them by another member of staff, even headache tablets. ( in case of any consequencial reaction)

 

The rationalle is that should anything happen to a member of staff which then requires ambulance, I can fully inform paramedics of the staffs current health issues and any medication that has been taken.

 

All medication to be kept secure.

 

As for Toilet breaks, we are all individuals and body functions vary, I would like to add though that I have just undergone a bladder operation which was most probably caused due to the fact I have spent years 'holding on', thus resulting in an over stretched bladder and other symptoms which affected everyday life, such as leakage when coughing, sneezing,or even slight abdominal muscle movements. Operation a success :D and I recommend it to anyone with same problems and don't think 'oh it's just my age and I 'll put up with it' . Sorry a bit off track there but there can be consequences for not answering the call of nature when it calls. :o

 

Peggy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with everything apart from the loo situation because I certainly wouldn't like to be told I have to wait until my break especially at a particular time of the month! :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi

I agree with the policy on medication and management needing to be told. Sorry but totally disagree with the toilet break issue feel it is human rights to go to the toilet as and when i know if someone tried to stop me going other than on my breaks I would be in touch with my union rep!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to take prescription medication every day and will do for ever. It has absolutely no impact on my work life - I don't really think I would want to be required to share this with non medically qualified others? surely if you're medically fit for work then you're fit for work despite what ever you may have to take as directed by a physician?

 

Just curious

Cx

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My staff are the same allowed to go when ever although they do tell someone where they are going. We don't have the luxury of staff room or storage space for personal items we keep our bags and coats at the back of the hall out of the way of the children, we are like a family so if one feels ill or has a headache someone usually has something in their bag. They do tell me if they are taking medicine and I've had a couple of them on antibiotics, which they take at home. I've had 4 staff with various differnt illnesses in the last few weeks and if they all stayed at home I would have had to close, because we can't get cover.

Its a case of feeling as good as can be but working through it.

We've all had problems at particular times of the month as well so again we support one another

Link to comment
Share on other sites

we are not permitted to give other members of staff any medication such as paracetamol and all medications must be stored in the locked medication cabinet they have to be clearly marked with the staff members name all staff must inform the first aider of any medication they are taking and record when they take it

we go to the toilet whenever we need to

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for all your honest and enlightening responses - I 'inherited' the 'visit the loo in your break' rule - which has always felt a bit 'sad' - so will certainly change that - as someone mentioned, trusting colleagues not to take advantage is a good starting point to build a more supportive team who care and support each other - in sickness and in health.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I kept Paracetamol in my locked first aid cabinet, well away from the children, and Ofsted told me I couldn't keep them.When i pointed out they were for staff, for monthly issues/headaches etc, she said i still couldn't keep them and if staff needed them, they must bring in their own and label them.They could then be kept in the first aid box....................................so I put a label on to say they are mine.If a member of staff needs any, I always tell them they take them at their own risk, as they are non-prescribed.

We all go to the loo as needed, i wouldn't ask any member of staff to hold on .................and I certainly wouldn't expect to, myself! If mobile phones are brought in,the rule is that they may only be used for emergencies and if I feel that is being abused, then they must be switched off.All staff have the group number, so family can phone them on that if there is an emergency.

I was also told that "staff can tell me voluntarily about medication/illlness, but it's not obligatory..............after all, health staff in hospitals don't have to declare things such as HIV,(and neither do parents if they, or their children are, so why should I expect my staff to tell me if they have anything wrong with them??" Fair enough I guess, but it would be useful to know such things as diabetes, etc............though if we use proper H/S routines, everyone should be protected..............including staff.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This worries me Im afraid, although I appreciate that from a health and safety point of view you can not have prescribed or unprescribed drugs within the childrens reach but surely the health of your staff is a private matter between them selves and their doctor and not a mandatory point of discussion. A back to work interview after a period of sickness should enable you to determine how best to support a member of staff but the niggles of everyday life such as a headache or a cold are surely best determined by the person affected not the manager!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yet another interesting topic on the forum!

 

I agree with others that it depends on the staff and the relationship they have with the management in telling them of conditions that may require medication... and I appreciate and respect that some people prefer to keep their health a private matter.

 

However, if it could affect their day to day working capacity with the children then I think it is only fair that at least one person knows (even if it's the room supervisor, so they can keep a check on them) The National Standards do state under 1:Suitable Person - all managers, staff and volunteers are suitable, both mentally and physically to care for children, so if a member of staff had a condition that could result in the safety of the children being compromised i.e. they could collapse, surely this would need to be disclosed?

 

If it was a minor ailment or permanent condition (i.e. reducing blood pressure tablets), with medication being required, and didn't affect working capacity, I think that is right to remain private.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe schools are different but we don't have a policy of having to share medical info in terms of drugs. My line manager takes certain drugs long term, but we do not know exactly what they are. She has on occasions collapsed at work, but she carries one of those medic alerts bracelets which contain all the info paramedics need as her condition is rare. We only need to apply normal first aid whilst we await an ambulance, We do not need to know the details of the drugs she takes on a regular basis and she never keeps them in the classroom.

 

I would want to know if a colleague used insulin or an epipen, as another colleague does and we have all been trained in their use should they be unable to use them themselves a any point.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the manager should know if any of their staff are taking perscribed medication. I dont think any other members of staff need to know.

After all the person in charge is responsible for ensuring staff are able to work with the children.

We dont work in an environment where a problem with your health can be overlooked. I'm not saying if you have anything wrong you should not work with children but from time to time we may all need a little extra help. I can't help if i'm not informed.

In our setting we are a close team and if someone had been ill we would know anyway.

I also let staff go to the toilet when the need arises.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are some situations when employees have a leagl obligation to tell employers about health issues, aren't there? I'm thinking of sickness & diarrhoea, skin problems etc for food handlers in particular. I think under Health & Safety laws there might be a duty to make sure employers knew if there was any condition that might significantly affect your ablility to perform a task the extent that you became a risk.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that making sure you have a policy in place would cover you as an employer should there be a problem. The onus is then on the individual - they would then be liable should something happen. Sit down and think about what is reasonable and workable in your setting. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just Googled this topic and it and came up with this discussion on a forum...

 

Failing to disclose prescribed medication - who is liable?

 

It's a bit in depth legally speaking (Vicarious liability means that an employer can be found guilty if an employee does something and the employer hasn't done everything in their power to stop it - I think?)

 

But the gist of the responses seem to lead towards whatever is in your drugs/medication policy...therefore, if you state in your policy that you must be informed and the employee hasn't told you, you are not liable. However, the debate comes back to whether you can insist or not? It may be worth asking someone like Citizen's Advice where you would stand legally on insisting that information is disclosed if it could affect the person's work.

 

Reading this one with interest... :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sometimes I think I know so much about my staff and their families that if they come in one looking pale I would know what was wrong. sometimes I think policies cover so much that common sense has gone out of the window. We teach the children to think for themselves and use common sense, but with the paperwork getting more and more when do you stop!

We work as a very friendly bunch of women dare I say nearly like a sisterhood!!!:o:D we talk to one another about our problems and support each other. we know when some ones not feeling well and help them get through the day if need be. If some one asks me for paraceptamol I hope that common sense prevails and they know that I am not giving them a drug to harm them.

They also need to be trusted to come to me with a illness and tell me that it could affect their work. i know we need paperwork but my house is bursting at the seams with it!! xD

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Surely though if I went into a manager and informed them that I was taking 100mg doxycetalone (made that up) daily they wouldn't have a clue as to what effect that might have on my ability to perform my job? The only person who could do that is my medical practitoners who would have advised me and if there was no impact why would i have to share this.

 

Prior to taking up employment in both LAs i've worked for you have a medical screening. Your job offer is conditional on passing that. This would presumably screen out any conditions that would prevent you starting your job with full capability to do what it entails.

 

However if then someone is off sick because of problem then there must be review systems, eg in my authority after 6 days off in a year there is an informal review process and then if further there is occupational health who can then make medical decisions about fitness for work. Having been through OH the info back to managers is also very brief, and does not give them instant access to your medical condition etc - merely informing them on any adjustments they would need to make to ensure you can work safely etc.

 

what is the liability on the employer in relation to my workplace/workload if I merely disclose something, if I say i am on diuretic tablets but they don't allow me to go to the loo because of the way the sessions are organised, are they liable for any further problems i may have? Could you be liable for constructive dismissal by not making it possible for an employee to continue working by the way they are managed after disclosing a medical condition? What if someone says they are extremely depressed - do you have the capacity to decide if they are fit for work or not?? What could you do??

 

 

I am fairly certain that if disgnosed with epilepsy you are barred from working in schools - although that could be wrong.

 

Interesting discussion!

 

CX

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that's wrong about epilepsy? I know each case is individual but I know several people whose epilepsy is controlled very effectively with drugs. I may be wrong though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to take prescription medication every day and will do for ever. It has absolutely no impact on my work life - I don't really think I would want to be required to share this with non medically qualified others? surely if you're medically fit for work then you're fit for work despite what ever you may have to take as directed by a physician?

 

Just curious

Cx

 

 

I understand your wish for confidentiality. Just curious, if you had an accident at work which rendered you unconscious and you required emergency, even surgery treatment, would it not be in your best interest that the hospital were made aware of what medication you are taking? Obviously different in individual cases.

I'm thinking also say if you were diabetic, this does not impact on work, because it is controllable, but would be, I would think, important for your boss to know, in case of diabetic coma, and subsequant medical intervention?

Sorry, I always look at worse case scenario's to risk assess.

 

Peggy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would want to know my staff's medication not to 'judge their ability to work' but to ensure that should the need arise, all information is available to paramedics.

The same as we require to know if children are taking medication.

 

Peggy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ive just caught up with this debate, and its one of those very emotive on both sides. I find it very difficult to think in terms of a blanket 'decision' or policy as much depends on the condition, the person taking it, the drug(s) involved and the job that person does.

In the type of condition like diabetes, then yes I would like to know if any of my colleagues could go into a coma etc and would also inform if I was in that position, along with where insulin is kept etc etc. however many people take meds long term that do not result in sudden collapse or coma, and as such are no more likely to collapse than anyone else with any unknown condition or healthy person.

I can see where anyone is coming from, Steph, obviously working in a more 'family' like community, and Peggy, wanting to know for the 'right' reasons. But sadly we don't all work in a community like that. Some of us do work in places where knowledge could be used against us (as I have seen happen so many times especially with anti depressants), or people being the subject of gossip, which is far worse. In short we don't all work in the ideal community! I would be mortified if I was 'forced' to disclose the details of any medication I was on. I would like to be 'trusted' to make the decision whether or not my colleagues need to know based on what I was on and why,and any possible effect on my capacity to work and of course advice from a qualified practitioner.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree and surely in any good working relationship members of staff communicate......... a simple I've got a headache and need to take a tablet must be better than a formal declaration. As we don't have any breaks in the FSU staff are free to go to the toilet when they need to and no one takes advantage of this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to add my voice, although nothing really new.

 

I use an epipen - well, I have one, not yet had to use it, thankfully - all colleagues are aware! I also have reached a stage in life when I need the privacy of the loo seriously, frequently, at certain times of the month - it has caused some hilarity at times, but fortunately it's dying down now. Consideration, understanding and communication - not necessarily in that order.

 

Sue

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most forms we fill in these days ask if we have a disability or know of anything which may affect our ability to do the job. I think it's a question of trust. Do we trust others to keep us informed of any illness which might affect their work? I have worked with a lady with crohn's disease, a lady who was deaf in one ear, a lady with a learning disability, a lady with epilepse and then theres me, who for about 2 hours each month needs to sit quietly while I 'breath throught he pain'. :o

In all cases, knowing a little about how we could all work together was the most important aspect, not knowing what medication they took, if any. If medical assistance was needed we had the staff records with details of the persons GP and family contact and just knowing what the person suffered from was enought to inform paramedics. :)

As to toilet breaks, so long as staff are told that someone is just nipping out of the room, I dont see a problem, unless the breaks become very prolonged or frequent, in which case a quiet word by the manager might be needed. I certainly wouldnt stop anyone, child or adult, going to the loo whenever needed. :)

 

 

 

Sue, having seen the loo at your nursery (glass doors), I can understand the hilarity xD May I suggest a curtain? :(:D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)