Nursing Procedures

Dive deep into the world of nursing procedures in this comprehensive guide, designed to enlighten you on the definitions, applications, and techniques attributed to various nursing procedures. Discover essential practices, such as tracheostomy care, enema procedure, and urinary catheter care and grasp the vitality of hygiene maintenance, with particular focus on correct hand washing. You will also explore the realms of specialised therapeutic procedures, their implementation and importance in clinical practice. Finally, the article will scrutinise the role of effective nursing procedures in fostering quality patient care, thus underlining their significance in the healthcare industry.

Nursing Procedures Nursing Procedures

Create learning materials about Nursing Procedures with our free learning app!

  • Instand access to millions of learning materials
  • Flashcards, notes, mock-exams and more
  • Everything you need to ace your exams
Create a free account
Table of contents

    Understanding Nursing Procedures

    In the healthcare sector, one term you'll often come across is "Nursing Procedures". Knowing these procedures is a key aspect of efficient and effective patient care. In the course of delivering healthcare services to patients, you will perform a range of clinical and administrative tasks. These tasks, collectively known as 'Nursing Procedures', are fundamental to maintaining and improving patient health.

    A Nursing Procedure is a standardized set of instructions that nurses follow to perform clinical tasks efficiently or administer medications. These procedures usually focus on patient care, safety, and documentation.

    Aspirations, dressing changes, medication administration, monitoring vitals, and even administrative functions like documentation are all examples of nursing procedures. Standardization of these procedures ensures consistency, safety, and accuracy. Knowing and understanding these procedures contributes not only to the nurse's proficiency but also improves patient outcomes.

    Definition of Nursing Procedures

    In the realm of nursing, the term 'nursing procedures' denotes a set of methods or protocols designed to manage and deliver patient care.

    Nursing Procedures encompass the range of clinical tasks that a nurse performs, as well as administrative functions like maintaining patient records. These procedures may be preventative, curative, or palliative in nature, and are aimed at restoring or maintaining a patient's health.

    Understanding these procedures requires both theoretical knowledge and practical skills. And these procedures are not stagnant; they evolve with changes in medical science and healthcare technology.

    Examples of Nursing Procedures

    Let’s take a look at some examples of nursing procedures:

    • Administering medications: This involves giving medications to patients by various routes such as oral, intravenous, injection, topical among others.
    • Monitoring vital signs: Regularly checking a patient's heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, and respiration is crucial in assessing their overall health.
    • Dressing wounds: Cleaning and covering wounds to prevent infections and support healing.
    • Documentation: Accurate recording and updating of a patient's medical information, treatments provided, and their response.

    These are just a handful of numerous nursing procedures that you may need to carry out in your daily role as a nurse. Remember, each procedure has its guidelines and protocols that must be followed meticulously.

    Essential Nursing Procedures in Practice

    No two days are the same in the life of a nurse. From applying dressings to administering medication, each day brings a new set of challenges. Let's explore some essential nursing procedures in more detail, such as tracheostomy care, enema administration, and urinary catheter care. All these procedures are seen as crucial parts of patient handling and care in a nursing profession.

    Tracheostomy Care Nursing Procedure

    Among the most critical nursing procedures, you will encounter is tracheostomy care. A tracheostomy is a surgically created hole in the neck leading directly to the trachea (windpipe). Some patients may have a tracheostomy temporarily, while others may require it for a longer period or permanently.

    Tracheostomy Care is the cleaning and maintenance of the tracheostomy site and the equipment attached to it. It involves suctioning of secretions, cleaning and changing the tracheostomy tube, and monitoring for any signs of infection or complications.

    For instance, consider a patient who has undergone throat surgery and has a temporary tracheostomy. As part of your nursing procedures duties, you will need to monitor the patient's vitals, routinely clean and dress the tracheostomy site, and suction any accumulated secretions. All these steps help to maintain a patent airway, prevent infection, and improve patient comfort.

    Steps in Tracheostomy Care Nursing Procedure

    Here, we will outline the general steps involved in performing tracheostomy care. However, instructions and precautions may vary based on the patient's specific needs and healthcare provider's directives.

    • Start by cleaning your hands and putting on your personal protective equipment (PPE).
    • Explain the procedure to the patient to alleviate any fears or concerns they might have.
    • Perform a quick assessment of the patient's vitals and tracheostomy site.
    • Carefully remove the soiled dressing, if present.
    • Cleanse and dry the tracheostomy site, starting from the stoma and working outward.
    • Apply a clean dressing around the tracheostomy site.
    • Monitor the patient for any signs of discomfort, distress, or complications throughout the procedure.

    Enema Procedure in Nursing

    Administering an enema is another common nursing procedure you may perform quite frequently. An enema is a liquid treatment most commonly used to relieve severe constipation.

    An enema procedure involves the introduction of fluid into the lower bowel by way of the rectum. This procedure stimulates stool evacuation, and it's a vital part of caring for patients suffering from severe constipation or preparing for certain surgical or diagnostic procedures.

    Procedure and Technique for Administering an Enema

    Safety, privacy, and patient comfort are top priorities when administering an enema. Again, enema administration procedures may slightly differ depending on the type of solution used, the patient's condition, or healthcare provider's specifications. Here are typical steps:

    • Explain the procedure to the patient and obtain their consent.
    • Assist the patient into a left-side lying (Sims' position), which helps facilitate the flow of solution into the colon.
    • Open the enema solution, being sure to warm it if the instructions require to do so.
    • Using gloves and lubricant, gently insert the applicator tip into the patient's rectum.
    • Gently squeeze the enema bottle or bag, allowing the solution to flow in.
    • Once the solution is administered, help the patient remain in position for the prescribed retention time.

    Urinary Catheter Care Nursing Procedure

    Urinary catheter care is an important protocol in many healthcare settings. A urinary catheter is a flexible tube passed into the bladder through the urethra to drain urine.

    Urinary Catheter Care involves keeping the area around the catheter clean to prevent bacteria entering the bladder, monitoring the function of the catheter, regularly emptying the collection bag, and observing for any signs of complications like infection or blockage.

    Best Practices for Urinary Catheter Care

    Part of a nurse's responsibilities includes ensuring that the urinary catheter functions correctly and the patient stays comfortable. Here is a summary of best practices related to urinary catheter care:

    • Always wash your hands before handling the catheter or the collection bag.
    • Keep the area around the catheter clean and dry. Cleanse it daily during the patient's bath or more frequently if soiled.
    • Secure the catheter to prevent it from moving around too much, which can cause discomfort or injury to the patient.
    • Regularly empty the collection bag before it becomes full.
    • Ensure the bag stays lower than the patient's bladder to prevent backflow of urine, which can lead to infection.
    • Observe for any signs of infection or complications, such as cloudy urine, unpleasant smell, or patient discomfort.

    Essentially, understanding these nursing procedures and implementing them safely can significantly improve patient outcomes and satisfaction.

    Specialised Therapeutic Procedures in Nursing

    As part of advanced clinical practice, nurses often undertake specialised therapeutic procedures that are critical to a patient's recovery and continued wellbeing. These take the intervention a notch higher beyond basic nursing routines. They could encompass practices such as wound debridement, percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) feeding, and chemotherapy administration, which usually demand a more specialised skill set.

    Overview of Nursing Therapeutic Procedures

    Therapeutic procedures in nursing are actions, interventions, or treatments undertaken with the intention of curing or managing a disease, injury, or other health condition. These are usually conducted in response to a healthcare provider's direct orders or following a nursing care plan.

    A Nursing Therapeutic Procedure is a clinical intervention performed by a nurse that is aimed to treat or manage a patient's condition, ease symptoms, avert complications, or improve the quality of life. They often require a high level of training, knowledge and competence.

    The role of a nurse in implementing these procedures encompasses understanding why the procedure is required, explaining it to the patient, gathering the necessary supplies, implementing the procedure safely and correctly, keeping accurate documentation, and monitoring the patient's progress. Compliance with infection control procedures and safeguarding patient dignity and rights are crucial elements of these roles.

    Implementing Therapeutic Procedures in Clinical Practice

    In the implementation of therapeutic procedures, practices often vary depending on the specific procedure, the clinical set-up, and patient's individual circumstances. Here, we delve into some specific examples of common therapeutic procedures that nurses regularly implement in clinical settings:

    Wound Debridement: This is an essential procedure for treating certain types of wounds, especially pressure sores and burns. Debridement involves the removal of dead, damaged, or infected tissue to improve the healing potential of the remaining healthy tissue.

    For instance, let's consider an example of Nurse Smith who works in a burns unit of a hospital. Here, Nurse Smith is routinely involved in wound debridement procedures. Familiarity with different debridement methods - autolytic, enzymatic, mechanical, and surgical - is critical. Nurse Smith's roles include assessing the wound, selecting the appropriate debridement method, administering pain relief measures, conducting the debridement process, dressing the wound, observing for complications, and documenting all these activities pretty accurately.

    Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy (PEG) Feeding: This is a non-surgical procedure to place a tube into the patient's stomach through the abdominal wall, typically for feeding patients who cannot take food by mouth. It involves various responsibilities from initial tube placement to ongoing care and management of the PEG tube and site.

    As an example, let's assume Nurse Williams is looking after a patient with a PEG tube. Nurse Williams is tasked with the daily cleansing of the site, flushing the tube before and after feeding and medication administration, managing potential complications such as infection or blockage, and educating the patient and caregivers about their role in home care.

    Chemotherapy Administration: As cancer treatments have evolved, a significant portion of chemotherapy treatments now occurs in outpatient settings, requiring skilled nursing intervention. Nurses play a pivotal role in administering chemotherapy, managing side effects, providing psychosocial support, and patient education.

    Consider Nurse Johnson who works in an oncology unit. Nurse Johnson holds a chemotherapy certification that allows administering chemotherapy drugs, observing for side effects, implementing necessary interventions, educating the patient on what to expect, and helping the patient to cope psychologically with their diagnosis and treatment. Thorough documentation, including the drug used, dose, route, time, patient's response and any adverse events, is also part of Nurse Johnson's role.

    These are just a few instances of the wide range of therapeutic procedures carried out by nursing professionals in various clinical settings. Remember that each therapeutic procedure demands a set of specialised skills, protocols, precautions, and it requires continuous learning, training, and competence building.

    Maintaining Hygiene in Nursing Procedures

    Keeping strict hygiene standards in the healthcare environment is vital for infection control. Thoroughly adhering to cleanliness guidelines can make a big difference in preventing the spread of diseases. In nursing, hygiene is more than just cleanliness; it extends to areas like hand hygiene, personal protective equipment (PPE) use, and maintaining sanitation in the patient's environment.

    Importance of Hand Washing Procedure in Nursing

    In nursing, hand hygiene is a cornerstone of infection control. It is one of the simplest and most effective measures to prevent healthcare-associated infections. Hand hygiene is particularly critical before and after interacting with a patient, performing any invasive procedure, handling any medications, or entering any sterile areas.

    Hand Hygiene in nursing refers to the practice of cleaning hands thoroughly using either alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water to remove dirt, organism, and any other potential contaminants. It's a fundamental component of standard precautions in healthcare settings.

    Non-compliance to hand hygiene results in the potential transmission of harmful microorganisms, leading to healthcare-associated infections. Such infections can finally result in increased morbidity, mortality, lengthier hospital stays, and elevated healthcare costs. Hence, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centre for Disease Control (CDC) extensively emphasise the role of hand hygiene practices in improving patient safety.

    Steps to Correct Hand Washing in Nursing

    Hand washing may seem like a simple task, but doing it properly is an essential skill that all nursing professionals need to master. You might be surprised to learn that effective hand washing involves a multi-step process that must be followed systematically for optimal results.

    Hand Washing Procedure refers to cleaning hands using soap and water, emphasising friction areas. It's specifically recommended when hands are visibly soiled, after using the restroom, or exposure to potential spore-forming pathogens.

    Let's now look at the detailed process of the ideal handwashing technique:

    • First, wet your hands with clean running water. The temperature could be warm or cold depending on your preference.
    • Apply enough soap to cover all surfaces of your hands and wrists.
    • Rub your hands together, creating a lather. Make sure to scrub all parts of your hands, including the back of your hands, between your fingers, and underneath your fingernails.
    • Continue rubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds. If you need a way to measure that time, humming the "Happy Birthday" song twice is roughly equivalent to 20 seconds.
    • Rinse your hands thoroughly under clean running water until all soap is removed.
    • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dryer.

    For instance, let's consider Nurse Allison working in an intensive care unit. After entering a patient's room, before any patient contact, she activates the water faucet with a paper towel, wets her hands, and applies liquid soap from the dispenser. She washes her hands, wrist, and parts of her forearms thoroughly for 20 seconds, takes care to clean between fingers, under the fingernails and her thumbs. Once done, using another paper towel, she turns off the faucet and disposes of the towel into a touch-free trash container.

    Remember, an effective handwashing technique is a critical tool in preventing the spread of germs and promoting patient safety. It's a crucial part of nursing hygiene procedures and presents an easy, inexpensive way to safeguard against potential healthcare-associated infections.

    Analyzing Nursing Procedure Techniques

    In nursing, procedure techniques refer to the systematic way of carrying out nursing interventions aimed at meeting the healthcare needs of patients. In a clinical setting, the importance of these skills does not only lie in the execution of the procedure but also in the rationale, implications, and potential complications. Thorough understanding, competent performance, and continuous self-evaluation should underlie every nurse's approach towards these techniques.

    Nursing Procedure Techniques for Clinical Placement

    Clinical placement environments present an excellent opportunity for nursing students and novice nurses to practice these procedural skills. Here, they can transit from theoretical knowledge to practical competence under the guidance and supervision of experienced trainers. But what procedural skills are usually focused on during these placements? Let's delve in a little deeper.

    • Assessment Procedures: These form the basis of nursing care. It involves comprehensive examining of the patient to gather data that will form the foundation of a personalised care plan. The specific procedures include physical examination, taking vital signs, pain assessment, nutritional assessment, and mental health screening.
    • Medication Administration: This involves prescribing, transcribing, dispensing and administering medications. Such procedures require strict attention to the '5 Rights' of medication administration - right patient, right drug, right dose, right route, and right time.
    • Wound Care: It includes various wound care management skills, for example, wound dressing, wound irrigation and wound debridement.
    • Sampling Procedures: Nurses often are needed to help with obtaining various specimens for diagnostic testing such as blood sampling, urine sample collection, and swab taking.

    Reflex Hammer Use: It's a commonly used tool for testing reflexes and neurological function. Nurses should know how to appropriately hold the hammer, where to hit on the patient body and how to interpret the resultant movement.

    Let's imagine a situation where a nursing student, Sam, is during his placement at a neurology ward. Here, he might have to use a reflex hammer to determine the neurological status of patients. He needs to place his thumb on the patient's tendon and then strikes his thumb with the hammer to elicit a reflex response. By carefully observing the patient's responses, Sam can assist in noting any abnormalities or changes in neurological status.

    Role of Effective Nursing Procedure Techniques in Patient Care

    Effective nursing procedure techniques play a vital part in the quality of patient care. Proficiency in these procedures and technques can result in improved patient outcomes, enhanced safety, and a higher level of patient satisfaction.

    Effective Nursing Procedure Technique: This refers to executing a nursing procedure in a skillful, efficient manner that achieves the intended purpose, conforms to established protocols and ensures patient safety and comfort.

    Some key advantages of effective nursing procedure techniques include:

    • Minimized Risk of Infection: An exacting adherence to procedure technique can significantly reduce cross-contamination and hospital-acquired infection risks.
    • Patient Safety: Properly carrying out procedures minimises potential complications, medication errors or procedural harm.
    • Patient Comfort: Proficiently handled procedures by a competent nurse can limit any discomfort or anxiety patient may face.
    • Increased Efficiency: Proficiency comes with speed, thereby saving valuable time and resources in hectic clinical environments.

    Consider a nurse tasked with inserting a urinary catheter, a common nursing procedure. An uninformed or poorly trained nurse may cause pain, discomfort or even injury during the process and may even lead to a urinary tract infection. In contrast, a nurse skilled in catheter insertion procedure ensures that the procedure is pain-less, minimises risk of infection by strictly adhering to sterile techniques, thereby promoting patient safety and comfort.

    Remember, effective nursing techniques make a significant difference in the clinical outcomes and patient's experience. Continuous learning, practice, and maintaining a high degree of professionalism are vital to mastering effective nursing procedures.

    Nursing Procedures - Key takeaways

    • Nursing Procedures refer to systematic ways that nurses carry out healthcare tasks, such as tracheostomy care, enema administration, and catheter care. They play a key role in preventing infections and promoting patient comfort and safety.
    • Tracheostomy Care Nursing Procedure involves monitoring the patient's vitals, frequently cleaning and dressing the tracheostomy site, and suctioning accumulated secretions in order to maintain an open airway and prevent infection.
    • An Enema Procedure in Nursing constitutes the introduction of fluid into the lower bowel via the rectum to stimulate stool evacuation. It is particularly important for patients suffering from severe constipation or getting ready for certain surgical or diagnostic procedures.
    • Urinary Catheter Care Nursing Procedure requires maintaining cleanliness around the catheter to avoid bacteria entering the bladder, checking the functioning of the catheter, regularly emptying the collection bag, and looking for any signs of complications like infection or blockage.
    • Nursing Therapeutic Procedures are interventions or treatments performed by nurses aiming to treat or manage a patient's condition, ease symptoms, prevent complications, or enhance the quality of life. They often require advanced training, knowledge and competence.
    • Hand Hygiene in Nursing is the practice of thoroughly cleaning hands using either alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water to remove dirt, organisms and any other possible contaminants, making it a fundamental aspect of infection control.
    Frequently Asked Questions about Nursing Procedures
    What protocols must be followed during common nursing procedures?
    During common nursing procedures, protocols such as hand hygiene practices, wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), maintaining a sterile environment, obtaining informed consent, following correct steps for specific procedures, documenting accurately, and adhering to patient privacy and dignity must be strictly followed.
    What types of equipment are often used in various nursing procedures?
    Various types of equipment used in nursing procedures include stethoscopes, thermometers, blood pressure monitors, pulse oximeters, syringes and needles, intravenous (IV) lines, catheters, personal protective equipment and medical examination lights.
    How does a nurse maintain sanitisation and safety during nursing procedures?
    A nurse maintains sanitisation and safety during nursing procedures by regularly washing hands, wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), utilising correct disposal methods for waste, following strict sterile techniques during procedures, and adhering to hospital infection control policies.
    What level of accuracy is required when performing nursing procedures?
    Nursing procedures require a high level of accuracy to ensure patient safety, reduce errors and deliver effective care. Precision, attention to detail, and adherence to established protocols are crucial.
    What sort of training is required to execute nursing procedures proficiently?
    Training to execute nursing procedures proficiently entails diploma, degree or postgraduate nursing programmes. These include theoretical education and clinical placements to gain practical experience. Various type of procedures require specialty training and certifications.

    Test your knowledge with multiple choice flashcards

    What is a basic nursing procedure?

    What are examples of basic nursing procedures?

    What does the "Right Patient" of the Five Rights of Medication Administration refer to?


    Discover learning materials with the free StudySmarter app

    Sign up for free
    About StudySmarter

    StudySmarter is a globally recognized educational technology company, offering a holistic learning platform designed for students of all ages and educational levels. Our platform provides learning support for a wide range of subjects, including STEM, Social Sciences, and Languages and also helps students to successfully master various tests and exams worldwide, such as GCSE, A Level, SAT, ACT, Abitur, and more. We offer an extensive library of learning materials, including interactive flashcards, comprehensive textbook solutions, and detailed explanations. The cutting-edge technology and tools we provide help students create their own learning materials. StudySmarter’s content is not only expert-verified but also regularly updated to ensure accuracy and relevance.

    Learn more
    StudySmarter Editorial Team

    Team Nursing Procedures Teachers

    • 18 minutes reading time
    • Checked by StudySmarter Editorial Team
    Save Explanation

    Study anywhere. Anytime.Across all devices.

    Sign-up for free

    Sign up to highlight and take notes. It’s 100% free.

    Join over 22 million students in learning with our StudySmarter App

    The first learning app that truly has everything you need to ace your exams in one place

    • Flashcards & Quizzes
    • AI Study Assistant
    • Study Planner
    • Mock-Exams
    • Smart Note-Taking
    Join over 22 million students in learning with our StudySmarter App