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Ear Care

course information

This course is designed to develop the knowledge and skills required for health professionals to safely assess the need for and perform ear irrigation using specialised ear irrigation devices. The course covers how to perform this procedure in a variety of settings. It is particularly relevant to practices, community care, emergency, residential care and pharmacy settings. The course is designed to train staff already working in healthcare settings with appropriate supervision and support to undertake a range of interventions for aural care. The contents of the course are designed for staff without prior knowledge of the aural care. It is also relevant for those who need an update in the skills and knowledge base. The course participants will leave with a competency-based assessment document which will enable the participants to undertake a period of supervised mentoring and practice. This course is accredited at Level 3. You must identify a mentor/supervisor to work with you after undertaking this course. We do provide a practical demonstration of how to use the propulse machine on this course however we do not practice on “live subjects”. We promote the use of the evidence-based practice.

aims and objectives

  • Correctly identify the anatomy and physiology of the ear

  • Understand consent and capacity and the relevance to ear care

  • Be able to describe the importance of data protection and confidentiality

  • Identify common minor ear abnormalities and ailments

  • Be able to take an appropriate clinical history and informed consent

  • Be able to correctly use an otoscope and other equipment

  • Understand the treatment of minor ear problems using best practice rationales

  • To be familiar with current clinical evidence and product range

  • Understand the use and cleaning of necessary equipment

  • Describe and understand how to correctly irrigate an ear for cerumen impaction and be aware of the complications

  • Make appropriate records and refer to other health professionals where necessary

  • Understand the legal issues in relation to ear care

  • Develop the knowledge and skills to correctly assess patients who require ear care / aural hygiene

  • Understand the importance of evidence-based practice and regular updates

  • Be able to use the ear irrigation equipment when required

course contents

  • Role and responsibilities and clinics

  • Accountability guidelines and requirements

  • Ear anatomy and physiology

  • How we hear

  • The function of the ear

  • Indications for ear irrigation

  • Clinical context – consultation skills, history taking, differential assessment

  • Examination of the ear using an otoscope

  • The normal tympanic membrane and common ear problems

  • Common ear problems:- foreign bodies, earache, infection, earwax blockage (cerumen impaction)

  • Reasons for carrying out ear irrigation

  • Relevant policies and procedures

  • Risk assessment

  • Obtaining informed consent

  • Contraindications to ear irrigation

  • Health and safety

  • Patient safety

  • Ear irrigation (Syringing)

  • Complications

  • Equipment and consumables

  • Infection control, safe disposal and cleaning of equipment

  • Appropriate documentation – good record-keeping and confidentiality

  • Patient advice

  • Products & Devices update – Prescription and OTC range

  • Potential problems and how to address them

  • Discussion and sharing of good practice

  • What to record

  • Legal aspects

  • Prescribing

  • Consent and Capacity

  • Competence and supervised practice

  • Practice Documentation policies and procedures

  • Practice session

  • Case Studies

  • Treatments including OTC

  • Risks and alternative therapies

  • Research and evidence-based practice

who should attend?

  • Nurses

  • HCAs

  • AHPs

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