8.5 Checklist for Eye and Ear Assessment

Use the checklist below to review the steps for completing an “Eye and Ear Assessment.”


Disclaimer: Always review and follow agency policy regarding this specific skill.

  1. Gather supplies: penlight, Ishihara plates, Snellen chart, Rosenbaum card, or a newspaper to read.
  2. Perform safety steps:
    • Perform hand hygiene.
    • Check the room for transmission-based precautions.
    • Introduce yourself, your role, the purpose of your visit, and an estimate of the time it will take.
    • Confirm patient ID using two patient identifiers (e.g., name and date of birth).
    • Explain the process to the patient and ask if they have any questions.
    • Be organized and systematic.
    • Use appropriate listening and questioning skills.
    • Listen and attend to patient cues.
    • Ensure the patient’s privacy and dignity.
    • Assess ABCs.
  3. Use effective interview questions to collect subjective data about eye or ear problems.
  4. Inspect the external eye. Note any unexpected findings.
  5. Assess that pupils are equally round and reactive to light and accommodation (PERRLA).
  6. Assess extraocular movement.
  7. Inspect the external ear. Note any unexpected findings.
  8. Assess distance vision acuity using the Snellen eye chart and proper technique.
  9. Assess near vision acuity using a prepared card or newspaper.
  10. Asses for color blindness using the Ishihara plates.
  11. Assess hearing by accurately performing the whisper test.
  12. Assist the patient to a comfortable position, ask if they have any questions, and thank them for their time.
  13. Ensure safety measures when leaving the room:
    • CALL LIGHT: Within reach
    • BED: Low and locked (in lowest position and brakes on)
    • SIDE RAILS: Secured
    • TABLE: Within reach
    • ROOM: Risk-free for falls (scan room and clear any obstacles)
  14. Perform hand hygiene.
  15. Document the assessment findings. Report any concerns according to agency policy.


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Nursing Skills - 2e Copyright © 2023 by Chippewa Valley Technical College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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