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In this lesson, we’re going to cover urinary elimination. There’s a ton of info, so get ready.
Okay we’re going to hit a lot of topics today but I want to focus on some real important parts right up front.
The two really important things that you need to focus are dignity and safety. Using the restroom can be awkward for them and you need to make sure that you’re giving them with privacy. The other thing that you need to do is focus on your patient safety. When I say safety I’m talking about removing or reducing the risk of infection. You reduce risk of infection by doing good catheter care and inserting catheters steriley.
You also need to remember the you’re in charge of the patient’s urine output and the device that they use. Be sure to measure your patient’s urine output, and always address concerns with your provider if you think something’s wrong with your patient’s urine or device. But if you have a real concerns don’t hesitate in contacting provider. Now let’s get started.
As you go further into your nursing career, you’re going to use these devices, so make sure you familiarize yourself with them.
The two most common ones that you’re going to use are your urinals and your bed pans. They have both male and female urinals. I’ve actually found bedpans to be more beneficial for female patients, and I have never seen a female urinal in real life. But just know that they do exist and if that’s what your patient wants to use, then you give it to them. One thing you need to be mindful of though is making sure you’re using the right bed pan. If you have a patient has an orthopedic injury or a pelvic injury, they can’t sit on a regular bed pan correctly or it’s painful so make sure that use a fracture bedpan for these patients.
If your patient can get up and you have a bedside toilet available, they’re really helpful too. They provide your patient a little bit more autonomy and Independence, especially if they’re connected to a bunch of stuff like tubes or lines or monitors. Just know that it gives him a little bit more independence.
Another urinary aid that you may end up seeing if something called condom catheter. It literally is what it sounds like. It’s a condom attached to a tube of the drainage bag. These are great for patients that are urinary incontinent. Just be aware that sometimes they slip off and sometimes they leak. So be sure to practice due diligence and making sure that patient has it on and that if it does leak, make sure that you clean your patient up quickly because you don’t want your patient getting skin breakdown.
Now when we talk about internal devices or internal urinary aids, what were literally talking about is placing a tube into the patient, but not surgically. The most common type that you’re going to see is a Foley catheter, which is a long tube that has a balloon that you fill with saline when it’s in the bladder to keep it from coming out. So in the bladder fills up, the urine drains into a drainage bag. One other one that you’re going to see is an in and out catheter. The biggest thing with that one is that you inserted into the patient once, you drain a bladder, and then you remove it. It’s not an indwelling catheter.
There are two things I want to hit real quick, but they’re important. Because the Foley catheter has a balloon, the last thing you want to do is just pull that thing out when the balloon is full. So when you insert it, make sure it’s all the way in before you fill it, and make sure it’s completely deflated before you pull it out. If you don’t, you can damage the urethra, it’s going to be painful, and it could complicate their situation.
Another really important point is that we need to make sure that we try to keep our patient’s from getting catheter associated urinary tract infections or CAUTIs. Make sure that when you’re inserting the catheters that you’re using sterile technique, and make sure that you’re doing your peri care and catheter care at least once a shift if not more. But check with your facility policy for how often you have to do that. The last thing we want is for our patients to have complicated stays because they got some sort of urinary tract infection because the nurses weren’t being diligent and making sure that their catheters were clean.
Sometimes our patients need some surgical help in order to urinate. And there’s three big ones that we look at. These are not all-encompassing so just know that you may see more or variances of these.
The first one is called a suprapubic catheter. It’s a literally a tube inserted through the abdomen into the urinary bladder. The reason we do these is because the patient can’t void below the level of the bladder, usually with something like urethral trauma. so the patient can make urine and the kidneys it can hold it in the bladder but it can’t get out. So that’s why you would use a suprapubic catheter.
Another one that you may see is something called a nephrostomy tube. If a patient has a problem with the ureters, and they can’t get the urine from the kidney to the bladder and then out of the patient, providers can insert tubes directly into the kidney to allow the patient to urinate that way. Is usually a drain inserted their back of their side, and drains into a drainage bag. one thing that you need to be considerate of it’s just because the patient has a nephrostomy tube other kidney isn’t working. So you need to make sure that your patient is voiding normally if they can.
The last one is called an ileal conduit. You’re going to see this in your patients that have had like total bladder removals or their bladder can’t hold urine appropriately. So what they do is a redirect urine from the kidneys and the ureters into the ilium, and then they create a stoma on the abdomen. So be sure that you continue to monitor that output. There’s some really good information on stomas in the bowel elimination lesson, so be sure to check that out.
Today we really focused on our nursing concepts of elimination and functional ability, and we really want to drive home that idea of safety by reducing the risk of infection.
Okay, so let’s recap.
Your patient may not always be able to eliminate on their own, so if they have a device make sure that that device is staying clean and free of infection.
External devices are great for your patients that have the ability to get up and move, so we don’t have to use any sort of internal devices.
Only use your internal devices when you absolutely need to and make sure that you take them out as soon as possible.
Surgical interventions are last resort, but sometimes they are absolutely necessary. So make sure that you know what kind of device your patient has and to make sure that is absolutely necessary.
Always let your providers know if there are changes to the device, or if there is concern so then we can protect our patients and make sure they don’t have any real complications.
That’s it for our lesson on urinary elimination. Make sure you check out all the resources attached to this lesson. Now, go out and be your best selves today. And, as always, happy nursing!!