Administration of Otic Medication

Otic medications, which are available in liquid form, are placed in the external ear canal sing a dropper. Otic drops are sometimes applied to soften cerumen, enabling it to be :cleansed from the canal. The ear canal is not treated with sterile technique unless the 7-mpanic membrane is ruptured and draining.


• Gather supplies


– Medication.

– Cotton ball.

PROCEDURE:Clean Gloves

1- Have another nurse, an assistant, or the parent restrain the child in a supine position with the head turned as appropriate for administration (Figure 7-8).

2- Don gloves.

3- For the child less than 3 years of age: Gently pull the pinna straight back and downward to straighten the ear canal. For the older child: Pull the pinna back and upward.

4- When the pinna is in the proper position, instill the drops into the ear.

5- Keep the child in the same position for a few minutes. Gently rub the area just anterior to the ear.


– Irrigation of the ear is performed to remove cerumen or a foreign body. Frequently the child has symptoms of otitis media but the canal cannot be visualized. Always ask the parent if there has been any drainage from the ear and examine the ear with an otoscope. If there is drainage, contact the physician before irrigating the ear. Be sure to check with the otoscope after about 1 minute of irrigation to observe the effects of treatment.

Performing an Ear Irrigation


1. Check the physician’s orders for the type of fluid to be administered.


• Ordered solution, warmed to room temperature

• Irrigating syringe (bulb or Asepto) with tubing or water pik.

• Clean gloves.

• Absorbent pads.

• Basin.


1- Examine the ear with an otoscop.

2- Position the child on the back. Don gloves. For the child less than 3 years of age, gently pull the pinna straight back and slightly downward. For the older child, pull the pinna back and upward. RATIONALE: These maneuvers straighten the ear canal.

3 – Place an emesis basin under the ear to be irrigated. Place a waterproof pad on the bed under the head.

4 – Draw 20 mL of warm ordered solution into a syringe with the tubing attached.

5 – Gently flush the solution into the ear canal, catching the draining fluid with the emesis basin.

6 – Alternately, use a water pik at the lowest setting to flush the ear.

7 – Repeat according to prescriber’s orders.

8 – Reexamine the ear with an otoscope and record changes from the treatment. 9- Dry the child’s ear, cheek, and neck.

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Posted in Fundamental Nursing, General, Nursing Intervention

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