Chapter 10. Tubes and Devices

10.7 Summary

When patients have tubes and attachments to aid in their recovery, health care providers are required to understand the type, purpose, precautions, complications, and interventions to ensure treatment is effective and to prevent patient harm. Each tube and attachment is unique, and the function of the tube, care of the patient, and safety precautions must be understood. This chapter reviewed many common types of tubes and attachments found in the acute and community setting, and reviewed the care and maintenance of nasogastric tubes, indwelling catheters, ostomies, urostomies, chest tube drainage systems, and tracheostomies.

Key Takeaways

  • Specific guidelines and procedures must be followed when working with tubes and attachments to prevent complications from the device.
  • Patients with tubes and attachments are more at risk for infection. Take care to maintain sterility of all tubes and ensure device insertion sites stay dry and intact, and all connection points stay intact.
  • Be aware of potential complications of each tube and attachment, and prevention strategies. Regularly assess the patient and the device for complications.
  • If unfamiliar with a specific device, review all policies and procedures prior to using the device to prevent harm to the patient.
  • Know the purpose, type, and special precautions for all tubes and devices that are used in your agency. Complete all training as required.


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