Catheter Care


Photo by quinn.anya @ Flickr

Photo by quinn.anya @ Flickr

A catheter is used to collect urine from the bladder. If you have a catheter, you do not need to use the bathroom, as urine drains directly into a bag outside your body. Catheters may be installed if you have chronic urinary incontinence, urinary retention or a surgery that inhibits you from urination. There are a number of reasons for having a catheter, such as:

  • Obtaining a sterile urine specimen
  • Facilitating emptying the bladder
  • Relieving bladder distention
  • Irrigating the bladder
  • Measuring residual urine
  • Managing bladder incontinence
  • Providing an accurate measurement of output

Our nurses are qualified for a number of procedures involving catheters, including:

  • Changing indwelling catheters
  • Management of catheters
  • Irrigating catheters
  • Bladder instillations

There are two types of catheters – straight, which is a one-use catheter meant to collect a urine sample, and indwelling, which is left in the body to help empty the bladder. If you have an indwelling catheter, you will have either a drainage bag or leg bag to collect your urine. Your nurse will care for and clean then bags during their visit.

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