17.6 Checklist for NG Suction
Open Resources for Nursing (Open RN)
Use the checklist below to review the steps for completion of the “NG Suction.”
Disclaimer: Always review and follow agency policy regarding this specific skill.
- Verify the provider’s order.
- Gather supplies: nonsterile gloves.
- Perform safety steps:
- Perform hand hygiene.
- Check the room for transmission-based precautions.
- Introduce yourself, your role, the purpose of your visit, and an estimate of the time it will take.
- Confirm patient ID using two patient identifiers (e.g., name and date of birth).
- Explain the process to the patient and ask if they have any questions.
- Be organized and systematic.
- Use appropriate listening and questioning skills.
- Listen and attend to patient cues.
- Ensure the patient’s privacy and dignity.
- Assess ABCs.
- Don the appropriate PPE as indicated.
- Perform abdominal and nasogastric tube assessment:
- Assess skin integrity on the nose and ensure the tube is securely attached.
- Use a flashlight to look in the nares to assess swelling, redness, or bleeding.
- Ask the patient to open their mouth and look for curling of the tube in the patient’s mouth. The tube should go straight down into the esophagus.
- Lower the blankets and move the gown up to expose the abdomen. Inspect from two locations.
- Auscultate bowel sounds and then palpate the abdomen.
Rationale: Performing a nasogastric and abdominal assessment is important for determining signs of complications such as skin breakdown and necessity for suction.
- Don gloves.
- Attach the NG tube to the suction canister.
- Set the rate of suction according to provider order:
- Low intermittent suction is usually ordered. Low range on the suction device is from 0 to 80 mmHg. Starting between 40-60 mmHg is recommended. The suction level should not exceed 80 mmHg.
- Observe for the gastric content to flow into the tubing and then the canister.
- Monitor canister output and document color, odor, consistency, and amount.
- Perform hand hygiene.
- Ensure safety measures when leaving the room:
- CALL LIGHT: Within reach
- BED: Low and locked (in lowest position and brakes on)
- SIDE RAILS: Secured
- TABLE: Within reach
- ROOM: Risk-free for falls (scan room and clear any obstacles)
- Document the procedure and related assessment findings. Report any concerns according to agency policy.