Foley catheters are hollow, flexible tubes used to empty the bladder when it cannot do so on its own. A nursing care plan for a Foley catheter includes assessment regarding the need for a Foley catheter as well as interventions to ensure successful insertion and safe removal. Assessment also includes monitoring for any possible complications such as infection or skin breakdown.
Assessment includes an examination of the patient’s symptoms, underlying medical conditions that may be causing those symptoms, other medications the patient is taking and the potential risks associated with inserting and maintaining the Foley catheter. In addition, the following should be assessed:
- Function: whether the patient is able to empty their bladder on their own, whether they are currently using self-catheterization and if they can manage it on their own, and how frequent they have to use catheterization.
- Health history: prior use of a Foley catheter, the last time it was used, the length of each use, and any other relevant information from the patient.
- Patient preferences: the patient’s comfort level and preferences regarding inserting and maintaining a Foley catheter.
Based on the assessment, the nurse then develops a nursing diagnosis, which is essentially a statement that describes the patient’s needs. The diagnosis might include potential problems such as impaired urinary elimination, impaired comfort, risk for infection, skin integrity problems, personal or family distress, or knowledge deficit.
Once the nursing diagnosis is identified, the nurse develops a set of expected outcomes. These might include a reduction in pain and discomfort associated with the catheter, an increased understanding of the purpose and process of the procedure and its associated risks, a decrease in the risk of infection and skin breakdown, and improved urinary function.
The next step is to develop and implement interventions that will lead to the desired outcomes. These interventions might include supplying the necessary supplies, providing education and instructions to the patient and/or caregiver, assessing urine output and skin integrity on a regular basis, and monitoring the patient’s response to the catheter.
The nurse must explain why they selected the interventions that they did. For example, they might explain that the patient will be more comfortable if they understand the purpose and risks associated with the procedure. They might also explain that regular monitoring is necessary to detect the signs and symptoms of potential complications.
Throughout the course of the care plan, the nurse assesses and evaluates the patient’s progress. This includes assessing the patient’s comfort levels, observing for signs and symptoms of infection, monitoring for skin changes, and assessing urinary function. If needed, adjustments to the interventions can be made.
In conclusion, in order to provide effective nursing care to a patient who is using a Foley catheter, the nurse must assess the patient’s needs and develop an individualized care plan. The care plan should include interventions that are based on evidence and that are supported by rationales. The nurse must also monitor the patient’s progress and make adjustments to the interventions as needed.
- How long does a Foley catheter have to stay in place?
This depends on the reason for the catheter and the individual patient. Generally, the catheter should remain in place until the patient’s bladder is able to empty on its own and the patient is able to manage self-catheterization.
- What are the risks associated with a Foley catheter?
The risks associated with a Foley catheter include infection, urinary tract damage, bladder stones, and deflation of the balloon, among others.
- Can a Foley catheter get stuck?
It is possible, though rare, for a Foley catheter to become stuck. If this happens, contact your healthcare provider right away.
- Can a Foley catheter cause infections?
Yes, if not properly inserted or maintained, a Foley catheter can cause infection. It is important to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and monitor for signs of infection.
- Is there anything I can do to reduce my risk of complications from a Foley catheter?
Yes, follow your healthcare provider’s instructions for insertion and maintenance, and follow the recommended care plan for your particular situation.