Catheterization, Proper Sterile Technique..

  1. I am a nursing student who has switched programs/schools.

    At my new school, we were going over catheterization today. Even after betadine-ing the penis/vagina, once you touch pull back and up or grasp the penis, that hand is now considered unsterile..... Correct?

    Now, as I was watching my classmate perform a catheter on a male dummmy, (holding the penis in her left hand) she was touching her right hand onto the penis as she was inserting the catheter tube!!!

    My old college, this was a huge no-no and we would fail our practicum because our right hand was no longer sterile. My Current teacher said that you can touch the penis with your right hand as you're feeding the tube in because the betadine made the penis tip sterile.

    I thought that skin was Never Truly sterile.

    Does this violate sterile procedure and have the possibility to introduce microbes into the meautus, or is my current teacher correct??????

    Please HELP!!! I feel as though this is extremely important in minimizing nosocomial infections.
    Gracias, Thanks!!!!!

    -----Sara Rogers, future nurse
    Last edit by Joe V on Oct 28, '15 : Reason: spacing
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   LV3677
    From nursing school, I learned that the method you described is correct. We would fail as well if our right hand touched the head of the penis while feeding the tube in to the urethra.
    However, I wouldn't argue with the nursing instructor about it. Not worth fighting about. In your practice, feed the tube in without touching the penis.
  4. by   Anna Flaxis
    You are correct that Betadine reduces microbial burden, it does not truly sterilize the skin. Catheter associated UTIs are a huge problem, and although prolonged dwell times are the most significant contributing factor, I would advocate for avoiding contact with the peri-urethral skin with the sterile gloved hand during insertion, simply as a matter of doing all you can to minimize risk to your patient.

    That being said, one thing I have learned in nursing and life in general is to pick your battles wisely.
  5. by   AnthonyD
    For school purposes, yes proper technique would avoid touching the penis with clean (sterile) hand. In the real world, sometimes it happens. Realize, however, that the catheter itself is also touching that penis, so it's not like you're really significantly increasing the risk of infection. We just do our best to minimize risk, and be as sterile as possible.
  6. by   Anna Flaxis
    Yes, the catheter itself is touching the urinary meatus. That is unavoidable. However, it is possible to avoid touching the skin with the sterile hand. Would I stop and start all over again if my hand accidentally touched the skin? Probably not. But I would make every effort to avoid doing so.
  7. by   AnthonyD
    Quote from Anna Flaxis
    Yes, the catheter itself is touching the urinary meatus. That is unavoidable. However, it is possible to avoid touching the skin with the sterile hand. Would I stop and start all over again if my hand accidentally touched the skin? Probably not. But I would make every effort to avoid doing so.
    Exactly
  8. by   iluvivt
    Yes, she is wrong as you cannot sterilize skin, only reduce the microbial count.
  9. by   Mr. Nightingale
    Make sure to get a GOOD Grasp so you can keep a sterile technique. I
    always thought Cathing people was easy peasy til i had to dig in, push with some force, trendelenberg, wink wink method. Lol. Both for male and female. Oh and whats those special male caths for bph guys?

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