How to Insert a Foley Catheter in a Female

In urinary catheterization a latex, polyurethane, or silicone tube known as a urinary catheter is inserted into a patient's bladder via the urethra. Catheterization allows the patient's urine to drain freely from the bladder for collection. It may be used to inject liquids used for treatment or diagnosis of bladder conditions. A clinician, often a nurse, usually performs the procedure, but self-catheterization is also possible. The catheter may be a permanent one (indwelling catheter), or an intermittent catheter removed after each catheterization.

This skill involves you inserting a catheter into a female patient’s bladder. It is performed for many reasons e.g. occasionally patients with urinary problems need them long term, acute urinary retention or if the patient is acutely unwell to help closely measure their input and output.

This station always involves a model, but you must remember to act as though you are talking to a patient. Catheterisation can be tested on a male or female model, but here we will discuss female catheterisation (see Male Urethral Catheterisation). There are two main ways to perform catheterisation – the 2 glove technique and the clean hand/dirty hand technique. You should use the one your medical school teaches; in this demonstration we use the clean hand/dirty hand technique.