Feeding tubes - Help!

  1. 0
    I'm a brand new nurse, and I've just realized nursing school didn't do a great job of explaining all the types of feeding tubes to me. I'm in a critical care rotation program, where I visit all of the ICUs for a few weeks... and I felt so silly and naive when the RN I was following was naming off these different names!

    Could someone please explain the different types of feeding tubes? I understand the difference between an NG tube, a PEG tube, a J tube, etc. But she was talking about Dobhoff tubes, as well as ND, NJ, and GJ tubes.

    I feel pretty lost, and don't understand why you would use, for example, a Dobhoff instead of an NG tube, or a PEG tube instead of a J tube. And I don't even know what ND / NJ / GJ tubes are!

    Any help would be really, REALLY appreciated.
  2. 6 Comments so far...

  3. 2
    If you were feeling a little lost you should have asked him/her what they were and brief explanation of what they did as well as their benefits vs drawbacks.

    A Dobhoff is a tube inserted by a physician using a stylet and held down by a weight to help it pass through the digestive tract to the desired location. It is smaller than an NG tube and thus cannot be used for suction.

    ND (Naso-duodenal) goes in through the nose and rests in the duodenum. Usually used for patients with abnormal pylorus function, problems with aspiration or delayed gastric emptying.

    NJ (Naso-jujeunal) goes in through the nose and rests in the small intestines, these types of tubes are used for feedings with a pump only, boluses are contraindicated.

    GJ (gastrojejunostomy) This tube is used to vent the stomach for air and/or drainage, and to give an alternate way for feeding, which is through the J-tube port.


    Hope this helps!
    Last edit by Okami on Nov 27, '12 : Reason: spelling
    tewdles and turnforthenurseRN like this.
  4. 0
    Thank you so much!

    I did ask her about the differences, but unfortunately, I don't think she knew all too much about them. She was able to tell me where each one was inserted, but as far as why you would use one vs. another -- "Oh, well, that is up to the doctor." It was very frustrating!

    You helped tons. I really appreciate it, as do my future patients.
  5. 1
    Quote from happyloser

    A Dobhoff is a tube inserted by a physician using a stylet and held down by a weight to help it pass through the digestive tract to the desired location. It is smaller than an NG tube and thus cannot be used for suction..
    A Dobhoff can be inserted by a RN. I place them all the time and have never seen a physician insert/place one.
    turnforthenurseRN likes this.
  6. 0
    Yes, a Dobhoff can be inserted by the RN. I have yet to see a MD insert one.

    A Dobhoff is the brand of the tube inserted through the nose, they clog very easy and much smaller than an NG tube. However, they are very similar to NG tube. Peg is placed through the skin to the stomach. The other NJ etc tubes are a combination of nose and location.
  7. 2
    Quote from Lovelymo79
    A Dobhoff can be inserted by a RN. I place them all the time and have never seen a physician insert/place one.
    Policy at my facility is for MD to insert. NP's can insert, RN's cannot.
    Esme12 and Okami like this.
  8. 0
    With a Dobhoff, it may be a matter of facility policy-vs-scope of practice as defined by your state's board of nursing. For instance, in North Carolina where I live and work, a Dobhoff or other type of weighted feeding tube may be placed by an RN, but not an LPN, as it doesn't fall in their scope of practice.

    As far as tubes in general, my best advice to remember them is to think about 3 things: Where/how it's inserted, where it's tip/end is, and what it's used for. This will help out a great deal.


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