Learn about nitropaste ointment application. This article will provide detailed steps on how to administer nitroglycerin ointment as a nurse. This medication is typically prescribed for cardiac patients, and it’s sometimes called Nitrobid, Nitropaste, or Nitro ointment.
What is Nitroglycerin ointment? It is a vasodilator, and it is used to prevent chest pain (angina) in patients with coronary artery disease. Nitroglycerin ointment is absorbed through the skin and enters the bloodstream. This will cause the coronary arteries on the heart to dilate, so more blood flows to the heart muscle, and this will prevent ischemia.
Nitro ointment is prescribed by the physician in inches. For instances, a doctor may order a patient to receive 1 inch of Nitropaste ointment. As the nurse you will be responsible for administering and teaching the patient how to measure out the prescribed about of nitro ointment. You will do this by using the application papers that are included with the medication (discussed in detail below).
Side effects of nitroglycerin ointment: headache, feeling dizzy, lightheaded, flushing
Tips for you as the nurse:
ALWAYS wear gloves when removing the old application paper and while administering a new dose (if you come into contact with the ointment you may experience side effects).
Measure the ointment on the side of the application paper that is NOT PRINTED. Why? When the nitroglycerin comes into contact with the print on the application paper it will cause the print to leak into the medication.
Rotate sites: chest, upper arm/legs, back
Always use a site where the skin is completely intact and free from hair (trim the hair, if needed…NEVER shave it).
Tape the application paper down with tape and cover with a plastic type dressing (nitro stains clothes).
Always date, time, and initial the application papers and this will be done on the PRINTED side. Don’t do this over the scale because you will need to see the scale when you measure it out on the opposite side.
Always assess the patient’s vital signs prior to administering a new dose. Make sure the patient is NOT hypotensive.
Video Demonstration on Nitro Ointment Application
Nitropaste Ointment Application
First, remove the old application paper. Remember use gloves!!!
- Perform hand hygiene and don gloves.
- Find the application paper.
- Gently remove the applicator paper.
- Clean the skin with a cloth to remove the excessive amount of medication left behind.
- Doff gloves and perform hand hygiene.
Then apply the new dose (remember perform the patient’s five rights):
- Write the date, time, and your initials on the new application paper. Remember do this on the PRINTED side.
2. Don gloves.
3. Flip the application paper over, so you will be measuring the ointment on the NON-PRINTED side. You will be able to see the scale through the paper because the application paper is thin.
4. Measure out the prescribed amount using the scale.
5. Select a NEW site to place the application paper.
6. Take the application paper with the ointment side facing the patient’s skin and lightly spread the ointment on the skin (do NOT rub or massage it) and keep the application paper on the skin.
7. Then cover it with a plastic type wrapping (tegaderm etc.) and tape it down.
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