​This page provides guidance for workers and carers performing a nasal rapid antigen test on a person who is visually impaired.

Last updated: 23 October 2023

​Workers and carers can take simple steps to perform a nasal rapid antigen test on someone who is visually impaired:

  • Ask if the person has any accessibility or communication requirements  
  • Make the person feel as comfortable as possible
  • Take time to explain the entire process from start to finish
  • Allow questions
  • Obtain consent before you start the test
  • Follow the steps below and deliver the suggested messaging below
  • Check the specific instructions provided with each rapid antigen testing kit as there are different kits available.

PPE recommendations for doing rapid antigen tests on someone else

  • Wash your hands and use hand sanitiser at the beginning and end of performing the rapid antigen test
  • Wear a face mask, gloves and any other PPE as required when performing the test. You should check if you need to follow specific PPE requirements based on what setting you are conducting the test in
  • Where possible, ask the person you are doing the rapid antigen test for to wear a face mask and keep their mouth covered by the mask while you swab their nose
  • Safely dispose of the rapid antigen test in a closed bin.

Step 1: Preparing for the test

Suggested messaging

Today I'll be giving you a nasal rapid antigen test. This is a way to check if you have COVID-19. The test may feel uncomfortable, but it shouldn't hurt. Once I'm finished, we'll have to wait about 10-15 minutes (change minutes if test kit indicates a different waiting time), and then the test results will show up. I'll talk you through the process, so you know what we're doing at every step. If you have questions or want to stop at any time, please let me know. Do you give permission for me to do this test on you today? I'm going to wash/sanitise my hands and set up the testing kit now.


  • Wash or sanitise your hands and set up the testing kit
  • Avoid touching the end of the swab and the testing area of the cassette. You shouldn't touch any of the liquid in the extraction tube at any time while doing the test.

Step 2: Taking the sample

Suggested messaging

I'll be inserting a swab into each of your nostrils. A swab is a bit like a long cotton tip with a soft end – it's sealed in a packet to keep it hygienic and you may hear me opening the packet now. I'm not going to touch the soft end of the swab that is going to go in your nose. We're going to use the same swab for both nostrils. I will move the swab around in each nostril for 15 seconds – you're going to feel it touch the back of your nose. Please hold still for me while I do the test so we can get a good sample from your nose. Are you ready?


  • Insert the swab in the first nostril and push it back until you feel resistance
  • Check you are swabbing back and not up. You want to take a sample from the back of the nose, not the nostrils
  • Swirl the swab around for 15 seconds
  • Repeat with the second nostril.

Step 3: Using the testing cassette

Suggested messaging

Now I'm going to take the swab from your nose and mix it in a tube that has testing solution in it. When it's properly mixed, I'll then pour a few drops of the liquid onto the testing cassette, and we'll wait 10-15 minutes (change minutes if test kit indicates a different waiting time) for your result. The testing cassette is about the length and width of your pointer finger – it's thinner than a smartphone. It has a small well/hole at one end that I'm going to pour the solution into now and at the other end is a small window where we'll see lines appear showing if the test has detected COVID-19 or not. If I see two lines on your test, it means you've tested positive for COVID-19. If there's only one line, it means that COVID-19 wasn't detected.


  • Put the swab into the tube of liquid, rotate it a few times and squeeze the sides of the tube
  • Pour the required number of drops into the testing well/hole
  • Wait the required amount of time indicated by the testing kit instructions.

Step 4: Read the result

Suggested messaging if positive

Your test is showing two lines, which means you've tested positive for COVID-19. You should stay at home and not see other people until you feel better. You should call your doctor to talk about what you should do next or if you should take medicine called antivirals. Antivirals can help stop people from getting very sick. I can help you call your doctor.

Suggested messaging if negative

Your test is showing one line, which is a negative result. If you've got COVID-19 symptoms, you should still stay home and not see other people until you feel better. We can do another rapid antigen test in a couple of days. If you don't have COVID-19 symptoms (a runny nose, sore throat, fever, cough), you don't need to self-isolate.

Suggested messaging if inconclusive

Unfortunately, your test hasn't worked correctly, so we'll need to do it again. You didn't do anything wrong. I may not have taken a big enough sample or there may have been something wrong with the test. Are you ready to try again now?


  • Safely dispose of the rapid antigen test in a bin.
  • Wash/sanitise your hands.
  • If the test is positive, tell the person it is recommended that they stay home and don’t see other people until they feel better so they don’t make other people sick. ​
  • They should call their doctor straight away to see if they’re eligible for antivirals and you can assist them with this. If they can’t contact their doctor, use the online Service Finder to find one nearby or call healthdirect on 1800 022 222 (free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week).
  • Assist the person by talking through the Testing positive to COVID-​​19 and managing COVID-19 at home
    fact sheet.
  • Ask if the person would like you to explain or share more information with someone who may help with their care.
Current as at: Monday 23 October 2023
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW