Conjunctivitis, commonly referred to as “pink eye”, is an infection of the membrane that covers the eye and lines the eyelids (conjunctiva). Infective pink eye, caused by a virus or bacteria, normally occurs in only one eye, although it can spread to both eyes. Pinkeye is very contagious and is easily spread through poor hand hygiene, which is why it is so common in children.
Conjunctivitis in newborns is most often caused by Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumonia, or Staphylococcus epidermis from the vaginal flora during childbirth, although herpes simplex, gonorrhea, and chlamydia infections may also be the cause. Older children with bacterial conjunctivitis are primarily caused by H influenza (Hib) and cannot be prevented with the vaccine.
The patient will be free from infection; the patient will have no change or loss of vision; the patient will be free from pain and discomfort
Infective Conjunctivitis / Pink Eye Nursing Care Plan
- Itching of the eye(s)
- Pain in the eye(s)
- Sensitivity to light
- Erythema of one or both eyes
- Swelling of the eyelid(s)
- Crusty appearance around the eye(s)
- Watery discharge from the eye
- Purulent drainage (yellow or green) from the eye
Nursing Interventions and Rationales
- Assess eyes and vision Assess for signs of ear infection
The common signs of pink eye are erythema and clear or purulent discharge. Vision loss is not typical but may be distorted or blurred. Otitis media is a common co-infection and symptoms may overlap
Get baseline and help determine if there is an underlying systemic infection. Pink eye usually does not present with a fever.
- Use proper PPE and disinfect all equipment per facility protocol
Bacterial and viral conjunctivitis are spread through contact. Disinfect all equipment to prevent cross-contamination from other patients.
- Obtain history from patient and parents, depending on the patient’s age
Determine if others in the home have similar symptoms. Isolate the patient from these family members. Does the patient attend school or daycare where it is easy to pick up germs and bacteria? How long has the patient had symptoms?
- Apply a warm compress over eye
Make sure the compress is moist and warm (not hot) to help relieve discomfort.
- Instill drops and apply ointments to eyes as necessary. Administer medications as required
Antibiotic drops or ointments are used to treat bacterial infections. Antihistamines, decongestants, and steroids may also be given to relieve symptoms
- Encourage patient to remain home from school or daycare for approximately 7 days
Pink eye infections are highly contagious and easily spread through contact. Isolating the patient from other children will prevent the continued spread of the illness.
- Educate patients and parents/caregivers of proper hygiene and how to prevent further spread of infection:
- Avoid rubbing the eye(s)
- Clean eye discharge with a tissue (dispose of carefully)
- Do not share towels or clothing with others
- Teach parent to instill eye drops or apply ointments at home for continued treatment
Help patients and parents/caregivers understand the importance of proper care and hygiene to prevent the spread of infection to other children or family members. Correct installation of eye drops and the correct administration of medications is imperative for optimal therapeutic benefit.
Cornell Note-Taking System Instructions:
- Record: During the lecture, use the note-taking column to record the lecture using telegraphic sentences.
- Questions: As soon after class as possible, formulate questions based onthe notes in the right-hand column. Writing questions helps to clarifymeanings, reveal relationships, establish continuity, and strengthenmemory. Also, the writing of questions sets up a perfect stage for exam-studying later.
- Recite: Cover the note-taking column with a sheet of paper. Then, looking at the questions or cue-words in the question and cue column only, say aloud, in your own words, the answers to the questions, facts, or ideas indicated by the cue-words.
- Reflect: Reflect on the material by asking yourself questions, for example: “What’s the significance of these facts? What principle are they based on? How can I apply them? How do they fit in with what I already know? What’s beyond them?
- Review: Spend at least ten minutes every week reviewing all your previous notes. If you do, you’ll retain a great deal for current use, as well as, for the exam.
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