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HCA Ear Care

12 July 2023 @ 9:30 am - 4:30 pm


There will be a portfolio to complete

Who Should Attend?

Ear Irrigation for HCAs and APs – with a Mentor who needs to be a registered nurse and be practicing Ear Irrigation

The Healthcare Assistants course is suitable for experienced HCAs’ and aims to provide the students with the knowledge to carry out safe otoscopy and recognise common ear problems.
It will also provide the student with underpinning knowledge to carry out safe ear irrigation.

Prior to attending the course students are provided with a “pre-course” learning pack which will assist in understanding the anatomy and physiology of the ear. The provision of this is to facilitate a revision of the anatomy and physiology enabling more time for practical sessions.

Ear Irrigation is an extended role for the HCA and can only be delegated to them providing the following criteria have been met:-

  • The patient is over 16 years old
  • The patient has had previous ear irrigation without complications.
  • There are no contraindications to ear irrigation

Components of the course:

  • Mentor support: the HCA is required to have a mentor who will support the HCA in achieving the necessary level of competence. The mentor attends and receives a certificated ear irrigation update (recommended every 2-3 years)
  • Question and answer paper. The paper consists of questions covering all aspects of the course and requires bullet point answers. The pass mark for this paper is 60%.
  • Viva/Oral discussion  The viva is an individual short discussion about safe irrigation in practice. This gives the student the opportunity to raise any concerns they may have about the course or about carrying out the procedure in practice.

Clinical Competency Booklet The competency booklet is to be completed during and after the course and is handed in with the case study. In order to achieve the competencies the student will be required to observe at least 10 irrigations and perform at least 10 irrigations under supervision before being considered competent in the procedure. 1

Learning Outcomes

Participants will have:-

An understanding of the basic anatomy and physiology of the ear.
An understanding of basic ear care
A foundation of knowledge on which to base practical ear irrigation
A foundation knowledge of otoscopy
Reflect on accountability and documentation
An understanding that, during and following completion of the course the HCA will undertake ear irrigation within appropriately delegated, monitored and supervised conditions and within the limits of their knowledge, skill and competence.
An understanding that, following the course, ear irrigation will continue to be undertaken in accordance with the Ear Care Guidance Document.

Course content

  • Anatomy and physiology of the ear
  • Video Otoscopy
  • Informed consent
  • Which ear drops, how and when
  • Ear wax and its function
  • Contraindications to irrigation
  • Decontamination of equipment
  • Practical Ear irrigation – demonstrated and then 1:1 practice using dummy heads
  • Documentation
  • Types of deafness
  • Hearing aids
  • Tinnitus

PN update as above excluding hearing aids and tinnitus.

The training is supported by a pre learning pack, a comprehensive learning pack issued on the day.

After 3 months case studies and competency books are assessed and marked by the trainer and Rotherham. 10% of the coursework is randomly selected for review by Sheffield University for quality control.

This process can take some months if extensions are granted or course work has to be returned for amendments. During this time contact will be maintained with the student by the trainer.
After successful completion the HCA is issued with a certificate and a congratulatory letter from the clinical director of PECC.

Protocols should be revised and in place to support the extended role and the HCA will require a new job description. The Practice insurers will need to be informed of the extended role.

I hope this information is useful and whilst it may seem very intense, in the light of the recent Francis report this course provides a robust training, supporting providers, practices and students, to enable safe and effective practice.


12 July 2023
9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Event Category:

Venue Information

The Gatehouse Centre
Hareclive Road
Bristol, BS13 9JN United Kingdom
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HCA Ear Care Course
£ 30.00
1 available