5 Professional Tips for New Catheter Users

5 Professional Tips for New Catheter Users

Posted by Jeanne Lowry on Feb 23rd 2023

5 Professional Tips for New Catheter Users

Using a catheter for the first time can be a bit intimidating. Even though your doctor will help you learn how to insert one, there’s still a lot to know about general use that’ll help in those first few weeks. We’ve put together a list of professional tips for new catheter users so that you can use yours with confidence.

Test Different Types of Catheters

Before you start using catheters regularly, deciding on a type you should use and stick with is a good idea. Your doctor will have suggestions for you, and you may already have a preference, but don’t be afraid to test a few out.

The main two types are Foley and intermittent catheters. Foley catheters stay inserted long-term and pair with a leg bag, while you will need to change out intermittent catheters multiple times a day. Trying out both is the best way to determine which is best for you.

Wash Your Hands Thoroughly

You want to insert a catheter in a sterile environment to avoid potential infections. However, that doesn’t mean you need to carry gloves on you at all times. Simply washing your hands before and after the insertion of a new catheter will be perfectly fine. Still, you should make sure that you clean your hands thoroughly to avoid facing issues down the road.

Be Gentle With Insertion

It’s also a good idea to ensure you put your catheters in as gently as possible. While the insertion process isn’t dangerous, you could hurt yourself if you’re too rough while putting it in or taking it out. You should never have to struggle with the insertion process. If you do, the issue could stem from a lack of lubricant or tense muscles. If the issues persist, you’ll need to talk to your doctor about proper insertion techniques.

Contact Your Doctor When Needed

When in doubt, reach out to your doctor. There’s nothing wrong with being unsure about something when it comes to your catheter, especially if you’re new to using it. Medical professionals will be more than happy to assist you in whatever way they can, even if it’s as simple as offering friendly advice. Never hesitate to call them when you run into problems.

Drink Plenty of Fluids

Finally, the last professional tip we have for all new catheter users is to drink plenty of fluids while using this product. Some users will drink less water throughout the day to avoid changing out catheters or leg bags as often. However, this method isn’t a good idea.

Instead of urinating less, dehydration just makes your urine more concentrated, which could lead to a UTI or other infections. Staying hydrated is essential, so make sure you drink fluids as regularly as you did before.