Ear Trouble With Counselor

  1. I should preface by saying, I am not a registered nurse, but am starting nursing school in the fall. I am spending the summer as the healthcare coordinator at a small camp in Highlands, North Carolina.

    I have been at the camp for a week, but the campers do not get here until the 17th, and counselors arrived yesterday. Just now, one of the counselors came to me and told me that after we swam in the lake today, he can now not here hardly at all out of his left ear. He said it's not echoed, but in fact, really a loss of hearing.

    He called his doctor and he told him that there might be some kind of earwax blockage in his ear and suggested some drops that he tried, but did not seem to help much.

    I'm really kind of unsure about what to do. Of course, if he still can't hear in the morning, I would more than likely have to send him to the local healthcare center. It's been about five hours that he couldn't hear. I told him to sleep on that side so that anything may be able to drain out of his ear, and gave him some swimmer's ear drops (which I don't think will really help).

    Anyone have any idea what this may be?
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    About kfrancesca09

    Joined: Jun '12; Posts: 7; Likes: 2


  3. by   JustBeachyNurse
    This definitely sounds like a condition that needs to be evaluated by a physician (or NP, PA, etc.) who has authority to evaluate and diagnose. It is impossible to even give suggestions as to what the ultimate diagnosis might be over the internet. Past medical history, medications, and present physical exam/assessment must all be considered. It was a good idea that the counselor contacted their primary physician for advice. Per terms of service we cannot offer medical advice.

    Since you are not a nurse or a nursing student yet, what are your credentials as a healthcare coordinator? Do you have a physician or advanced practice nurse that you consult with before dispensing treatments? Do you have medical protocols/guidelines from a licensed practitioner that dictate recommended actions for common ailments? Granted even the best treatment protocols won't cover all possibilities that may occur. Since the counselor's physician suggested an ear wax product, I'm not clear under what authority/protocol you dispensed a swimmer's ear drops.

    Hearing issues are definitely not something to mess around with. Did the counselor call his primary physician back when the recommended treatment did not work? Did you tell the counselor to call his physician for advice when he still could not hear properly after 5 hours? His PCP knows his history and may have other treatment suggestions/recommendations.

    Good luck, and hopefully it will all work out for the best.