Ask the patient his name or check his identa-band, bed card, or medical record.
Explain the irrigation procedure to the patient before you begin the procedure.
PROCEDURES TO IRRIGATE THE EAR
a. Perform a patient care handwash and gather the equipment and solutions
required for the ear irrigation.
b. Warm and test the solution.
(1) Place the container of warm solution in a pan of warm water until
solution is between 95 to 105F (a little warmer than the normal body temperature).
(2) Test the temperature of the solution by allowing a small amount of the
fluid to run on the inner aspect of the wrist.
Cold solutions are uncomfortable and may cause dizziness or nausea as a
result of stimulation of the equilibrium sensors in the semicircular canals.
c. Insert the otoscope speculum into the external ear canal.
Assist the patient to assume the position, which allows a good view.
Tip the patient's head toward the opposite shoulder or ear to be irrigated.
(3) Straighten the external ear canal by gently pulling the auricle upward
and backward for adults, and downward and backward for a child.
(4) Turn on the otoscope light and insert the speculum just inside the
opening of the ear (see figure 6-4).
d. Observe the external ear canal and the tympanic membrane for
Check the external ear canal for redness, swelling, drainage, or foreign