How to administer eye drops and eye ointment
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How to administer eye drops and eye ointment

Mary Shaw Senior lecturer, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, University of Manchester, Manchester, England

Rationale and key points

Eye drops and eye ointment are the mainstay of treatment of ocular conditions. Failure to prioritise administration of these medicines can prolong the condition and may present a risk to the patient’s vision.

Eye drops and eye ointments are used to treat acute and chronic conditions of the eye and surrounding structures. Eye drops must be instilled before applying eye ointment, since the ointment will affect the absorption of the eye drop.

Nurses require knowledge of the technique, side effects and potential interactions associated with systemically or topically applied medicines to the eye to ensure patient safety and optimum outcomes.

Reflective activity

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Nursing Standard. 30, 39, 34-36. doi: 10.7748/ns.30.39.34.s42


Peer review

All articles are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software.

Received: 09 February 2016

Accepted: 08 March 2016