Provide Catheter Care

Care Plan: Provide catheter care to a female resident with an indwelling urinary catheter with soap and water. The catheter and front perineal area should be cleaned. A mannequin is used for the role of the resident.


Click on each question below to view the answer…

Why do we have to clean the peri-area when performing catheter care?

While cleaning the catheter tubing is important, cleaning the labia minora (inner portion), labia majora (outer portion) and skin folds will help decrease microbial contamination and can help lower the risk of infection. Patients with catheters have a higher risk of urinary tract infections and it is vital that the catheter and surrounding areas be kept clean. Since catheter care is often the only “personal care” regarding the peri area that the patient receives, all of that area should be cleaned for comfort.

What do you do if the patient feels uncomfortable?

Explain the procedure to them BEFORE beginning and tell them each step you will be performing before you do it to increase their comfort. Provide privacy and be professional. Patients will respond to your discomfort, so practice this skill to become more comfortable and professional. Perform the skill quickly to minimize discomfort. If the patient refuses, tell the nurse.

Are you supposed to roll the patient toward you or away from you?

You should scoot the patient toward you so that they are lying on the edge of the bed closest to you and then roll them onto their side facing away from you, so they are lying on their side in the center of the bed.  Patients should not be rolled toward you.  This is bad body mechanics and can cause injury to both parties.

Do I have to explain every step out loud, as you do in the video when I am performing my skills portion of the exam?

Yes.  Patients will not be comfortable with you performing this skill silently.  Plus, they will not know what you are doing and may become combative.  If you explain every step BEFORE you do it, the patient becomes informed and will be more relaxed.

Do I need to clean the buttocks during catheter care?

No.  The buttocks are cleaned during peri-care because the urine has run down and contaminated the buttocks.  Since catheterized patients have a catheter tube that collects the urine, the urine does not run downward and contaminate the buttocks, so they do not need to be cleaned for the exam.

Since we are cleaning below the waist, does the water have to be disposed of in the toilet?

No.  The basin only held clean water.  Soiled washcloths were not placed back into the basin.  Body fluids such as urine or feces should be disposed of in the toilet, but bathing water can be dumped into the sink.

When should you wash your hands – before or after getting your supplies?

You must wash your hands AFTER your opening (the privacy curtain and bed controls are dirty) but BEFORE you get your clean supplies (have to have clean hands to touch clean supplies). Your gloves go on AFTER all preparations have been made and immediately BEFORE touching the patient so that you do not contaminate the gloves. Remember, everything that you touch with your gloves will contaminate the gloves, then you pass that contamination on to the patient!