g. Remove the cap from the medication container and, if a dropper is to be
used, draw up the correct amount of medication. Do not contaminate the container cap.
h. With the non-dominant hand, straighten the external ear canal by gently
pulling up and back on the ear for an adult, or down and back for a child.
i. Instill the prescribed amount of medication, one drop at a time.
Direct the flow of the medication toward the roof of the ear canal.
Do not allow the dropper (or the tip of the bottle) to touch the ear.
j. Place a cotton ball loosely into the opening of the ear canal to absorb any
k. Instruct the patient to lie still for 10-15 minutes to allow the medication to be
absorbed, rather than run out of the ear. (The head should remain turned toward the
unaffected side.) After this period, assist the patient to a comfortable position.
l. Remove supplies from the bedside and store or discard as appropriate.
m. Wash your hands.
n. Record the procedure in the patient's clinical record.
IRRIGATING THE EAR
a. Review the patient's clinical record to verify the physician's order to irrigate
b. Wash your hands and assemble the necessary equipment.
Ear irrigation syringe.
Cotton balls and gauze squares.
Sterile solution thermometer.