5.24 Skills Checklist: Catheter Care

  1. Gather Supplies: Basin, warm water, soap, two washcloths, one towel, barrier, gloves, and linen bag or hamper
  2. Routine Pre-Procedure Steps:
    • Knock on the resident’s door.
    • Perform hand hygiene.
    • Maintain respectful, courteous, and professional communication at all times.
    • Introduce yourself and identify the resident.
    • Provide for privacy.
    • Explain the procedure to the resident.
  3. Procedure Steps:
    • Put on gloves.
    • Fill the basin with warm water and place it on a flat surface with a barrier underneath. Have the resident check the water temperature by placing their hand in the basin or putting a wet washcloth on the back of their hand.
    • Raise the bed height to a working height.
    • Expose only the urethra and catheter.
    • Follow the tubing from the resident toward the drainage bag, ensuring that the tubing is at a lower level as it goes toward the bag. Be sure no kinks or elevation can cause backflow to the bladder.
    • Turn the resident or raise their hips and place a barrier (e.g., a towel, waterproof soaker pad, or disposable pad) under their buttocks.
    • Use the first washcloth with soap and water to carefully wash around the catheter where it exits the urethra.
    • Hold the catheter where it exits the urethra with one hand.
    • While holding the catheter, clean 3-4 inches down the catheter tube.
    • Clean with strokes moving away from the urethra.
    • Use a clean portion of washcloth for each stroke.
    • Put the soiled first washcloth in the linen bag.
    • Wet the second washcloth and rinse, using strokes only away from the urethra while continuing to hold the catheter where it exits the urethra.
    • Rinse using a clean portion of washcloth for each stroke.
    • Put the soiled second washcloth in the linen bag.
    • Pat dry with a towel.
    • Do not allow the tube to be pulled at any time during the procedure.
    • Replace the gown over the resident’s perineal area.
    • While wearing gloves, empty the basin.
    • Rinse the basin.
    • Dry the basin.
    • Return the equipment to storage.
    • Dispose of soiled linen in a designated laundry hamper.
    • Remove the gloves, turning them inside out.
  4. Post-Procedure Steps:
    • Perform hand hygiene.
    • Check for resident comfort and ask if anything else is needed.
    • Ensure the bed is low and locked. Check the brakes.
    • Place the call light or signaling device within reach of the resident.
    • Open the door and privacy curtain.
    • Perform hand hygiene.
    • Document and report any issues or changes noted with the resident.

View a YouTube video[1] of an instructor demonstrating catheter care:


  1. Chippewa Valley Technical College. (2022, December 3). Catheter Care. [Video]. YouTube. Video licensed under CC BY 4.0https://youtu.be/pIM5rRt9s-w


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Nursing Assistant Copyright © by Chippewa Valley Technical College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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