Minor Injuries


The aim of this assignment is to analyse the knowledge and skills required by Nurse Practitioners (NP) who manage minor injuries in a nurse led environment. By providing a case study, it will look at an individual who presented with a foreign body in her ear and will discuss and critique some of the treatments available. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) (2008) state that a registered nurse must protect confidential information, therefore the identity of the patient will not be disclosed and will be known as Alana.

It is important for the NP to possess knowledge of the human anatomy to allow for an accurate clinical assessment, care provision and evaluation of patients.   As this care study is in relation to a foreign body in the ear, the anatomy of this organ will be discussed first.

Anatomy of the Ear

The ear is a very delicate and complex structure and is divided into 3 sections: the external, middle and inner. The ear has two functions which are hearing and balance.

The Outer ear:

The outer ear comprises of the pinna, the external acoustic meatus and the tympanic membrane (the eardrum) and these form a trumpet that collects sound waves (Rhind & Greig, 2002).   The pinna is the visible part of the ear and its function is to collect the sound and direct it into the external acoustic meatus. This is the ear canal which structure is curved, covered in hair and produces wax to protect the eardrum from foreign bodies (Rhind & Greig, 2002). Another important fact to consider in relation to foreign bodies is that its length of the canal is approximately 26 millimetres. The tympanic drum protects the inner ear from foreign bodies and it converts the sounds into vibrations which transfer into the middle ear.

The Middle ear:

The middle ear comprises of a small space named the tympanic cavity which contains the smallest bones found within the human body (the ossicles). The first bone is the malleus, so called due to its...