5.25 Skills Checklist: Emptying Catheter Drainage Bag

  1. Gather Supplies: Gloves, two barriers, graduated cylinder, and alcohol swab
  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.
    • Place a barrier (e.g., paper towel or disposable pad) on the floor under the drainage bag.
    • Place the graduated cylinder on the barrier.
    • Open the drain to allow the urine to flow into the graduated cylinder.
    • Avoid touching the tip of the tubing to the sides of the graduated cylinder.
    • Close the drain.
    • Wipe the drain with an alcohol wipe.
    • Wipe the drain holder, if present, with an alcohol wipe.
    • Replace the drain into the holder.
    • Place a clean barrier on a level, flat surface.
    • Place the graduated cylinder on the barrier.
    • With the graduated cylinder at eye level, read the amount of output.
    • Note the characteristics (i.e., color, clarity, sediment, or unusual odor) of the urine.
    • Empty the urine in the graduated cylinder into the toilet.
    • Rinse the graduated cylinder and empty it into the toilet.
    • Return the equipment to storage.
    • Remove the gloves, turning them inside out.
  4. Post-Procedure Steps:
    • Perform hand hygiene.
    • Check for resident comfort and 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 urinary output in mL and report any issues or changes noted with the resident.

View a YouTube video[1] of an instructor demonstrating emptying catheter drainage bag:


  1. Chippewa Valley Technical College. (2022, December 3). Emptying Catheter Drainage Bag. [Video]. YouTube. Video licensed under CC BY 4.0https://youtu.be/V2Xq4GWcfow


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