How to Use a Bladder Scanner

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A bladder scanner is a diagnostic tool that measures the amount of urine in the bladder or to determine how much urine remains in the bladder after urination as a way to measure residual levels. Scanners are portable machines that are about the size of a laptop computer and are usually mounted on a roller stand. These devices are found in hospitals, home health agencies, long-term care centers and other health care facilities.

Things You'll Need

  • Bladder scanner
  • Gel
  • Paper towels

Place the device next to a patient. The scanner wand sensor must be able to reach the patient's bladder.

Position the patient in a supine position with knees slightly bent for comfort. Uncover the lower abdominal area, keeping the rest of the patient covered for privacy.

Turn on the bladder scanner using the start button. The machine will offer prompts for male or female. Select your gender and then view the image of the bladder that automatically displays on the screen.

Apply gel to the abdomen between the umbilicus and the pubic bone. Place the wand directly onto the patient's skin over the gelled area and gently press down, manipulating the wand until you are able to visualize fluid-filled areas within the cross hairs.

Hold the wand over the area and push the Print button. The image will be saved and recorded on the printout paper, which will be filed in the patient's chart.

Wipe gel from the patient's abdomen using a paper towel and wipe off and sterilize the wand according to facility protocol. Document the results.

Tips & Warnings

  • Ensure patient privacy by maintaining modesty for the patient during the procedure.

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