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Home » CNA Skills » Female Catheter Care

Female Catheter Care

A clean female catheter is essential to reduce the risk of infection and keep the catheter working properly. As a CNA, this is a common duty that you want to perform correctly for patient health and comfort.

When to Perform Female Catheter Care?

As a CNA, you will be expected to perform female catheter care at least once a day. This will help to reduce skin irritation in the areas around the catheter. It also reduces the risk of germs getting into the urinary tract to cause an infection.

How to Perform Female Catheter Care?

To perform a female catheter care procedure, you will need several items, including:

  • Two clean towels
  • Warm water
  • Two clean washcloths
  • Mild Soap
  • A clean container
  • Gloves

Make sure to start the procedure with proper hand hygiene before you put your gloves on. From here, use the following steps:

  1. Use warm water and soap to prepare one of the washcloths
  2. Use this washcloth to cleanse the area surrounding the catheter
  3. Always use a front to back motion when you are cleaning your female patients to prevent feces from getting into the vagina or urinary tract
  4. Use the other washcloth and only add water to remove any soap in the areas that you cleansed
  5. Use your second washcloth to clean their buttocks and upper legs
  6. Rinse the washcloth until it is water only to remove the soap
  7. Use a clean towel to dry all of the areas that you cleaned using a gentle patting motion
  8. Never apply any powders, sprays or creams to these areas

Once you complete the above step, it is time to clean the actual catheter using the following steps:

  1. Start by practicing hand hygiene and putting on a fresh pair of gloves
  2. Get clean, warm water and a washcloth
  3. Soap up and wet the washcloth
  4. Start cleaning the catheter at the opening of the vagina and slowly move down the tube away from the patient’s body
  5. With a clean towel, dry the catheter working down and away from the body

Catheter Care Procedure Video

Expert Tips & Advice on Female Catheter Care

When you perform catheter care, it is important to also look at the drainage bag. This can tell you if your patient is urinating enough, if there is a possible blockage or if there are abnormalities with their urine. Ensure that you change the bag as frequently as your facility recommends.

When you complete the female catheter care procedure, make sure that the catheter is secured to the patient so that they can move around without the catheter moving.

Ensure that the catheter bag is always under the patient’s bladder level. This will prevent urine from backing up which puts them at risk for an infection.

FAQ about Female Catheter Care

How often should you perform catheter care?

Every facility has its own guidelines, but once a day is common. In some cases, especially if a female patient is at high risk for an infection, catheter care for patients is done twice a day.

How Long Does a Female Catheter Stay in Place?

A female catheter can remain in place for an average of two to 12 weeks, according to manufacturer guidelines. Should an issue arise, it may need to be removed or changed for a clean catheter sooner.