Policies,Clinical,UWMF Clinical,UWMF-wide,Clinical Policies and Procedures,Medication Administration, Route of

Administering Otic Medications (102.070)

Administering Otic Medications (102.070) - Policies, Clinical, UWMF Clinical, UWMF-wide, Clinical Policies and Procedures, Medication Administration, Route of




Effective Date: May, 2002 Approval: See Authorization
Supersedes Protocol: None Contact: Clinical Staff Education

Reviewed October, 2003 March, 2005 March 2008 October 2011

PURPOSE: To provide guidelines for the administration of otic/ear medications at UWMF Clinics.

POLICY: Clinical staff will utilize the following guidelines to administer otic/ear medications to UWMF
patients. The preparation and administration of a medication should be completed by the same person.

SUPPLIES: Provider’s order, Patient’s record, Medication(s)

1. Check the name and dose of medication against the provider’s order. Clarify any inconsistencies. .

2. Identify the patient: include date of birth and verify allergies. Provide privacy during the procedure.

3. Know medications actions, special considerations, safe-dose ranges, purpose of administration, and adverse
effects of each medications to be administered.

4. Wash hands then gather equipment.

5. Prepare medication, adhering to the five rights of drug administration.
Right – drug, dose, time, route, patient
Check the expiration date of the medication

NOTE: Many ear drops should be shaken prior to use, check package insert or label.

6. Provide good light and privacy by closing curtains or door.

7. Provide patient education:
Explain medication(s), reason(s) for the medication(s), and administration to patient
Explain any sensations to expect during administration

8. Position the patient in the side-lying position with the ear facing upward.

9. Put on gloves.

10. Assess the patient’s external ear for drainage, inflammation, and pain.
If drainage or cerumen is seen in the outer ear, gently cleanse the area with a cotton-tipped applicator.
NOTE: Do not push the applicator down into the ear canal.

11. Warm the medication to body temperature

12. Hold the medicine dropper one-half inch above the ear and rest your hand on the patient’s head.


13. Instill the prescribed number of drops into the ear canal.
NOTE: Do not touch the dropper to the ear or another object.
In adults pull auricle up and back.
In infants pull auricle down and back.

14. MASSAGE or apply gentle pressure to the tragus of the ear with your finger to move the medication
15. Instruct the patient to continue to lie on his or her side for 2 to 3 minutes.
Note: If more than one type of ear drops is being used, wait at least 2 minutes before instilling the next ear
16. Place an earplug or a portion of a cotton ball into the patient’s external ear canal (if ordered by the
provider). Removing cotton after 15 minutes.

17. Help the patient to assume a position of comfort.

18. Dispose of the soiled supplies in a proper container.

19. Remove gloves and wash hands.


20. Check on patient to ensure that allergic reaction is not occurring.

21. Assess the patient’s ability to self-administer the medication (if needed for home use).

22. Perform discharge teaching regarding new medications.

23. Document (Progress Notes in HealthLink utilizing SmartPhrase: .medinclinic)
Manufacture, Lot #, Expiration date (as indicated)
VIS# (if applicable)
Name, dosage, route of medication, and time given
Assessment and laboratory results relevant to purpose of the medication
Effects of the medication on patient
Teaching about the drug or administration technique
How patient tolerated procedure, i.e., desired effect, adverse reactions

REVISED BY: Carol Decker, RN, MSN, Clinical Staff Educator

REVIEWED BY: LaVay Morrison, RN, BSN, Clinical Staff Educator

WRITTEN BY: Ronnie Peterson, R.N., M.S., Manager of Clinical Support

Kowalak, J. P. (Ed.). (2009). Lippincott’s nursing procedures (5th ed.). Ambler, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Perry, A.G. & Potter, P.A. (2002). Clinical nursing skills & techniques. (5th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby.

Perry, A.G. & Potter, P.A. (2009). Fundamentals of nursing. (7th ed.). Hall, A. & Stockert, P.A. (Eds.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby


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