Bedridden patients don’t have the ability to get up and go to the bathroom. Instead they must use a bedpan or have a catheter inserted to drain their urine. It’s important that nurses know how to properly insert a catheter into the bladder to minimize the discomfort a patient feels during the procedure and prevent a urinary tract infection from developing.
Things You'll Need
- Catheter tube
- Drainage bag
- Hand soap
Wash your hands. Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria get in the urethra and began multiplying. According to guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control, you must wash your hands with water and soap for a minimum of 15 seconds. Use a disposable towel to dry them. Use the towel to turn off the water as this prevents your hands from being contaminated again.
Put on protective gloves. This protects both you and the patient from diseases and infections that can be spread through physical contact.
Clean the urethral opening. Use Betadine, an antiseptic, to ensure the area is sterilized and free from bacteria. A urinary tract infection can result if the catheter tube comes into contact with any bacteria still remaining around the urethral opening.
Get a new set of protective gloves. To prevent cross contamination, you need to remove your old gloves, wash your hands and put on a new set of gloves before beginning the procedure.
Lubricate the catheter. This helps in inserting it into the patient’s bladder. Most catheters come with a lubrication packet, but if does not, use a lubricant that is water-soluble.
Bring the catheter tube to the urethral opening. For males, grab the penis and hold it up from the body. Spread the labia in female patients and find the urethral opening between the clitoris and the vagina.
Ask the patient to relax. Insert the tube. Catheter tubes in males need to be inserted to the level of the Y connector after urine has started to flow. Female insertion occurs until urine has started to flow into the catheter bag. From that point insert the tube up towards the bladder an additional two inches.
Inflate the balloon in the catheter. The balloon opens the urethra to allow urine to pass through. If the patient feels pain after the balloon is inflated that often indicates that the catheter tube is still in the urethra and hasn’t reached the bladder. Move the catheter up two inches and try inflating the balloon again.
Once the catheter is inserted correctly, attach the tube to the drainage bag. The tube that runs from the patient’s urethral opening to the drainage bag should be taped to the patient’s leg. This minimizes the discomfort felt by the patient when moving. It also lessens the chances that the catheter will come out.