Urethral Catheterisation (Female)

This skill involves you inserting a catheter into a female patient’s bladder.  It is performed for many reasons e.g. occasionally patients with urinary problems need them long term, acute urinary retention or if the patient is acutely unwell to help closely measure their input and output.

This station always involves a model, but you must remember to act as though you are talking to a patient. Catheterisation can be tested on a male or female model, but here we will discuss female catheterisation (see Male Urethral Catheterisation).  There are two main ways to perform catheterisation – the 2 glove technique and the clean hand/dirty hand technique.  You should use the one your medical school teaches; in this demonstration we use the clean hand/dirty hand technique.

Subject steps

  1. A chaperone is required for this procedure.

    Begin by introducing yourself to the patient and clarify her identity. Explain what you would like to do and obtain her consent.

  2. Position the patient on her back, lying as flat as possible. Ask her to put her ankles together and let her knees fall apart.

  3. Wash and dry your hands, then put on the sterile gloves.

  4. Dispose of your gloves and equipment in the clinical waste bin. Wash your hands.

  5. Afterwards record the volume of urine collected in the catheter bag and ensure that the patient is comfortable and covered. Remember to complete the sticker on the outside of the catheter pack and put it into the patients notes.