Date of Graduation

Summer 8-2017

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


School of Nursing and Health Professions

First Advisor

Elena Capella

Second Advisor

Susan Mortell



The objective of this project is to educate the nursing and respiratory therapist staff, along with the patient and their families on the importance of discarding used suction catheters. The intention of this project is to provide awareness and education on the negative implications of re-using a saved one-time use tracheal suction catheters. As a future CNL, through the competency as the Clinician, designating and coordinating care for the individual to promote health and risk prevention can be practiced. Many times, a single-use tracheal suction catheter was noticed hanging connected to the suction wall, tucked under the patient’s pillow, or placed openly on the bedside table to be reused for the next suctioning episode. Patient harm such as infection and death can be inflicted to the patient through cross-contamination when a single-use suction catheter is reprocessed and used for multiple suctioning episodes. Infection control and prevention is imperative in nursing.

The setting used for data collection is all adult inpatient units of an acute care hospital that cares for tracheostomy patients. To provide tangible data, rooms of patients who have a tracheostomy were audited for saved used suction catheters. Two sessions of data collection were implemented. The first session was data collection in addition to provided education to the staff and patient/families. The second session was also data collection, but an evaluation of whether the education provided was sufficient in preventing the staff from reusing reprocessed suction catheters. Results indicate that more work needs to be done. Barriers were identified and education was the primary suspect. The recommendation is to provide more education for the staff, patients, and families on the importance of discarding used suction catheters, and as mentioned, update the HAP prevention bundle. The ultimate goal is that all used suction catheters will be discarded after utilization.

Included in

Nursing Commons