help ?


For some reason I have a difficult time putting a Foley in female patients. It seems like I miss the urethra alltogether and end up asking another nurse to do it. Anyone else have this problem?

biker nurse

230 Posts

Specializes in LTC , SDC and MDS certified (3.0).

I was taught to use alot of betadine and look for the pucker!

Worker every time for me. GOOD LUCK;)


214 Posts

I tip I got from a preceptor: If your hospital uses the kits with the tube of lubricant instead of the little packet, you can put a little on the catheter, and then use the rest to aim at the area the urethra is in. It will dilate the opening and make it easy. I got my first foley with no problem with this method!

Super Nurf

66 Posts

Specializes in I think I've done it all.

I am proud to say that I am the nurse everyone goes to when they can't get a foley in. (someone's gotta toot my horn for something here!!!). I think the key is visibility, visibility, visibility! If you can't see where you're putting it, you shouldn't be taking blind stabs at it. Here is a little trick that I use, if I can't see well for whatever reason (pt. is heavy, sinks into the matress, whatever) I put a bedpan upside down underneath to lift that bottom up. It does help. Or if need be, I get a second person to help hold folds, or legs, or whatever else is in the way and also a flashlight sometimes helps too.

nightmare, RN

2 Articles; 1,297 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Home ,Dementia Care,Neurology..

Somtimes getting her to cough and therefore producting a little urine can give you a clue to where you're aiming for!:lol2:


1,343 Posts

bedpan under the bottom, someone to help hold legs apart, excellent light, take an extra cath or 2 with you - they can almost always be put back if not used but are there if you need them, and if you do wind up in the vagina, leave the cath in so you know where not to go again, then remove it after you succeed.

don't give up. Practice makes perfect. Just take your time.

Have the bed at a comfortable height for yourself. Nothing irks me more than seeing staff in all kinds of contortions because they neglect to get comfortable to do caths, start iv's, etc.


510 Posts

Specializes in LTC, MDS Cordnator, Mental Health. Has 9 years experience.

Elderly women may not autotomicly correct after numerous Children 50 or more years ago…. So visibility, flash light, help (some one to hold legs hands etc.). And have the bed up as high as you can. I was a night nurse at one time and would do up to 4 a night. Never thought of the Bed pan, that is an excellent tip.

I think what helped me with caths was that I was a CNA for 20 years before I became an LPN and I assisted with so many I can't count, but yes, visibility is the key and I've never heard of the bedpan, thats a great tip

Specializes in labor & delivery.

This may sound weird, but since I'm a new nurse in L&D, I now put a lot of foley's in and I recently discovered I wasn't getting my hand "deep" enough in the labia. I was really trying to be too gentle. I found the best way for me (and this is visibility again) is to put two fingers between the labia and pull up and apart, then use my betadine and watch for the "wink"!

But I like the lubricant tip too! I guess I'll have to try that!

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