Catheter care is an essential skill for Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), especially when caring for patients with mobility issues or those who require catheterization Proper catheter care not ensures the comfort of patients but also helps prevent infections and complications. As a CNA your role in assisting patients with catheter care while respecting their dignity and privacy is vital. This lesson provides a guide on how to insert a catheter in patients focusing on step by step procedures and recommended practices.

1. Recognizing the Importance of Catheter Care

Taking care of catheters is a part of patient care particularly for individuals who are unable to manage their own catheters. Properly caring for catheters offers benefits:

1.1 Infection Prevention: Regularly cleaning the catheter and drainage bag reduces the risk of tract infections and potential complications.

1.2 Ensuring Patient Comfort: Properly handling catheters guarantees patient comfort, minimizes discomfort and promotes well being.

1.3 Early Detection: Catheter care allows for observation of the insertion site enabling detection and intervention, in case of infection or other issues.

2. Preparing for Catheter Care

Before conducting any catheter care procedures it’s important to gather supplies, maintain hygiene standards and ensure patient comfort.

2.1 Hand Hygiene: Begin by washing your hands with soap and water to prevent the spread of germs.

2.2. Introduction: Knock, on the patients door. Wait for a response before entering. Greet the patient using their name introduce yourself and explain the purpose behind the procedure. Ensure privacy by closing the curtains.

2.3 Supplies and Workspace: Collect all items such as a hand towel, six washcloths, two towels, two basins, two Chux pads, one pair of gloves and soap. Arrange these supplies on a tray table covered with a towel for access.

2.4 Temperature Check: Fill each cleaning basin with an inch of water and place two washcloths in each basin. Use your wrist to check the water temperature to ensure it is comfortable for the patient.

2.5 Glove Usage: Wear a pair of gloves to create an environment that protects both yourself and the patient.

3. Performing Catheter Care

Performing catheter care demands attention to detail and following step, by step procedures.

3.1 Positioning the Patient: Kindly ask the patient to shift their position to one side ensuring their comfort and ease of access.

3.2 Replacing the Chux Pad: Remove the Chux pad and replace it with a fresh one to promote cleanliness and ensure the patients comfort.

3.3 Exposing the Perineal Area: Assist the patient in rolling in the direction to reveal the area. Place a towel over their region to minimize exposure while maintaining their dignity.

3.4 Cleansing the Labia and Meatus: Utilize the 4 corner technique by moistening a washcloth with soap and warm water. Clean each side of the labia, changing corners for every step. Cleanse the meatus ( section). Repeat this process using a different washcloth, from the rinse basin.

3.5 Cleaning the Catheter Tube: cleanse the catheter tube using a method that involves dividing it into four sections. Hold onto it as if you were gently pinching it avoiding any pulling or excessive pressure application. Employing the 4 corner technique thoroughly clean each section of tube without causing any discomfort.

3.6 Drying off Area: Pat dry the cleansed area using sections of a hand towel following precisely in sequence as done during cleaning.

3.7 Chux Pad Replacement: Take off the Chux pad using the rolling technique and replace it with a fresh one to maintain the patient’s comfort and cleanliness.

3.8 Cleaning and Hygiene: Dispose of used linens, in the designated hamper clean the sink area. Remove your gloves. Thoroughly wash your hands to ensure hygiene.

4. Completing the Procedure

After performing catheter care make sure everything is organized ensure the patients comfort and maintain communication.

4.1 Patient Comfort and Communication: Inquire about the patients bed position and make any necessary adjustments accordingly. Provide them with a call button for communication.

4.2 Closing Curtains: Before leaving the patients room ensure their privacy by closing the curtains.


Catheter care is a skill that Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) must learn to provide patient care. By following the step by step process outlined in this lesson you can effectively perform catheter care while prioritizing patient comfort, hygiene and privacy. Regularly and properly caring for catheters does not prevent infections and complications. Also contributes to improving patients overall well being and comfort. As a member of the healthcare team your ability to perform catheter care, with attentiveness and sensitivity positively impacts your patients lives.