Section II. PROCEDURE FOR INSERTING THE NASOGASTRIC TUBE
CHECK THE DOCTOR'S ORDER
Before performing a nasogastric intubation, check the doctor's order to be certain
the doctor has ordered this procedure. Inserting a nasogastric tube is NOT a routine
GATHER THE EQUIPMENT
To perform a nasogastric intubation, you will need the following equipment:
a. Nasogastric tube. The Levin tube is usually selected. Remember, the larger
the number of the tube, the larger the size of the tube.
b. Water-soluble lubricant.
c. 500 cc bulb syringe.
d. Emesis basin; glass of water.
e. Suctioning apparatus.
f. Clean towel; sterile gloves; table.
g. Mayo stand and tray; adhesive tape.
h. Container for contaminated waste.
EXPLAIN THE PROCEDURE TO THE PATIENT
a. General Information. Explain the procedure to the patient to help relieve his
fears and aid him in relaxing. The patient may be in pain or frightened. You need to
explain the purpose of passing the tube into his body: to relieve distention of the
stomach caused by gas, bleeding, or lack of peristalsis; to prepare for gastric studies; or
as a means of feeding. Explain that the passage of the tube is painless but that it may
cause gagging as it passes down the back of the throat. The gagging impulse passes
quickly as the patient swallows. Swallowing helps to advance the tube.
b. Specific Information. Tell the patient that you will insert the tube along his
nasal passage. Next, you will give him a cup of water with a straw. He is to drink
through the straw when asked to do so, continuing to drink until asked to stop. Ask the
patient if he has any history of nasal injury or deviated septum. Tell the patient that the
tube must be placed about 20 inches down the nasogastric passage.