Aseptic insertion

Aseptic technique is strongly recommended during the insertion of indwelling urinary catheters, based on biologic principles, the pathogenesis of catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI), and the growing prevalence of multidrug-resistant organisms.

A recent analysis of patient safety practices by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality emphasized the important role of nurses in preventing CAUTI, the most common healthcare-associated infection. While physicians and medical students occasionally insert indwelling urinary catheters, nurses are generally responsible for the insertion and maintenance of urinary catheters; unlicensed personnel may also insert indwelling catheters under the direction of registered nurses. As part of their nursing education, student nurses are taught catheter insertion practices through simulation and clinical experiences. Once out of school, nurses refine their catheter insertion practices in the practice setting, where they tend to develop practice skills similar to those of other nurses with whom they work.

Anecdotal evidence – coupled with preliminary observations done by the University of Michigan CAUTI research group – reveal that proper aseptic technique is not reliably used when indwelling urinary catheters are inserted. 

In this section we provide several resources related to aseptic insertion for anyone inserting an indwelling urinary catheter in male or female patients: nurses, physicians, medical students and unlicensed healthcare personnel.   Some resources are in the form of written documents, while others are web-based.

Additional documentation (PDF)