Administering Eye Drops

Medical Equipments:
  • Medication Administration Record (MAR)
  • Tissue or cotton ball
  • Eye Medication (drops)
  • Nonsterile gloves

Nursing Procedures:
  1. Assess the patient and the cart for any allergies
  2. Check the written orders on MAR
  3. Obtains the necessary equipments
  4. Follow the five rights of drug administration
  5. Determine the identification armband
  6. Explain the procedure to the patient and ask if he or she wants to instill his or her own eye drops
  7. Wash hand and don non-sterile gloves
  8. Gently wash the eye if there is crust or drainage along the margins of inner canthus. (always wipe from the innter canthus to the outer and use warm soaks to soften material if necessary)
  9. Position patient in a supine position with the head slightly hyperextented
  10. Remove cap from eye bottle and place cap on its side
  11. Squeeze the amount of medication as prescribed into the eyedropper
  12. Put a tissue below the lower lid
  13. With dominant hand, hold eyedropper ½ to ¾ inch above the eyeball, the rest hand is on patient forehead to stabilize
  14. Place nondominant hand on cheekbone and expose lower conjunctival sac by pulling on cheek while applying slight pressure to the inner chantus
  15. Instruct the patient to look up and drop the drops into center of conjunctival sac
  16. Do not instill medication drops directly into the cornea
  17. If the patient blinks and the drops land on the outer lid or eyelash, repeat the procedure
  18. Instruct patient to close and move eyes gently
  19. Remove gloves and wash hands
  20. Record the route, site, and time administered on the MAR


  1. When giving the same type of drop in both eyes, is glove removal, hand hygiene, and reapplication of clean gloves required?

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  4. Use a finger of the administering hand to stabilize the bottle.