POSITION THE PATIENT
a. Responsive Patient. If the patient is responsive and needs to be positioned
in the semi-Fowler's position, you should elevate the head of the bed to about a 45
degree angle. Then raise the knee latch or the foot of the bed so that the patient's
knees are flexed at about a 15 degree angle.
b. Unresponsive Patient/Lateral Position. The patient is unresponsive and
needs to be placed in the lateral position. Turn him onto his side. See that the head,
neck, and back are in a straight line. Be sure the patient's legs are parallel with his
knees slightly flexed. You may place his arm in a flexed position across his abdomen or
so that it is supported on his body and hip.
c. Ambulatory Patient. Seat this patient on a chair. Have him tilt his head
backward with his chin upward at about a five degree angle. Ask the patient to breathe
through his mouth.
WASH YOUR HANDS
As with other medical procedures, wash your hands before you actually begin
inserting the tube. Wash your hands according to local unit procedure.
5-10. PREPARE THE TAPE AND TUBING
Follow this procedure:
a. Cut four or five pieces of tape three to four inches long. Attach one end of
each piece of tape to a surface where the tapes will be easily accessible.
b. Unwrap the tube from the plastic container. Peel open the wrapper and throw
it away in the contaminated waste.
5-11. MEASURE THE TUBE PRIOR TO INSERTION
Use the tube to determine how far to insert the tube in the patient. Using the
tube, measure the distance from the patient's earlobe to the tip of his nose. Then,
measure and add the distance between the earlobe and the tip of the xiphoid process.
This is roughly the distance from the patient's mouth to his stomach. Mark this distance
on the tube with tape.
5-12. LUBRICATE THE TUBE WITH WATER-SOLUBLE LUBRICANT
After you have measured and marked the tube, lubricate three to four inches of
the tube's end with a water-soluble lubricant. To do this, hold the tube tip with the
thumb and fore-finger of your dominant hand. Bring the tip to the opening of the
selected nostril. This lubrication permits the tube to be inserted easily.