Registered nurse management of urinary catheters in a rehabilitation and long-term care hospital


A.Andrew Fleming, Nursing Research Unit, Royal Rehabilitation Centre, Sydney, PO Box 6, Ryde, NSW 2112, Australia. Email:


Nurses are the primary managers of all the routine care and problem solving associated with patients who have indwelling urinary catheters. Despite the key role nurses have, there is a lack of uniformity in the nature of documentation provided to guide practice. This paper discusses the findings from a research project that identified knowledge levels and management practices in a rehabilitation and long-term care hospital. A convenience sample of 39 registered nurses completed a questionnaire examining knowledge levels and identifying current practices. The results revealed knowledge deficits in catheter-related knowledge, and variation in client education and documentation. The results also demonstrated the continued use of traditional knowledge as well as unclear application of fundamental nursing principles. There is a clear need for increased use of evidence-based practice and development of suitable post-registration education.