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Ask yourself: does this patient really need a catheter?

The use of catheters has serious implications and nurses should constantly review the need to continue with them, says updated RCN guidance

The use of catheters has serious implications and nurses should constantly review the need to continue with them, says updated RCN guidance

  • Guidance applies to all settings, including nursing homes
  • Grounded in practice, it focuses on infection control
  • Consider alternatives – don’t see catheters as default position

Rose Gallagher has a message for nurses and other clinicians caring for patients in all health and care settings: before reaching for a catheter consider the alternatives.

‘We want to ensure that all teams focus on the patient and not the device,’ she says, adding that she wants to encourage nurses to think: ‘Do we really need to do this?’

As the RCN professional lead for infection prevention and control, Ms Gallagher was part of a team responsible for updated college guidance on catheter care. Published earlier this

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