SDE: Clinical Guidelines Ch7E

Clinical Procedure Guidelines for Connecticut School NursesPrintable version | Back to Contents
Specialized Health Care Procedures

E. Catheter: External


An external catheter is a condom-type urinary collection device, vinyl rolled or with a jock-type supporter (AUA Foundation, 2011).


To maintain social continence (clothing dry and/or free from odor).


Gloves, washcloth, protective pad; self-adhesive external catheter or double-sided tape and external catheter; drainage bag (or leg bag) and tubing.

Optional depending on individual student: skin-prep adhesive; foam tape (Microfoam); stretch tape (Elastoplast); and clean clothing.


  1. Carefully roll off the external catheter and remove tape, if necessary.
  2. Wash and dry penis and scrotum.
  3. Using scissors, cut off any pubic hair that is matted, stuck together, or will be caught in the new condom.
  4. Check the skin around penis and scrotum for skin problems, i.e., sores, redness, a rash, or swelling.
  5. Leave about -inch space between the end of the external catheter and the tip of penis. This will help to avoid irritation.
  6. If using tape around the penis, make sure the tape does not overlap on itself. The penis can be damaged if the tape reduces the blood circulation. Read the directions on the catheter package.
  7. If using spray adhesive:
    1. Cut a small hole in the center of a paper towel.
    2. Put the penis through the hole. (This keeps pubic hair from being sprayed with adhesive.)
  8. If using a self-adhesive catheter, move to step b below.
    1. Read directions on external catheter package. Unroll the external catheter onto the penis about -inch.
    2. Unroll the rest of the external catheter to cover the penis.
  9. Hold the hand around the penis for 30 seconds. This will set the adhesive and help the external catheter stick to the penis.
  10. If you need to use extra tape:
    1. Clip and remove the ring from the external catheter. (If the ring is not removed, the pressure may damage the penis.
    2. Put tape around the penis. Half should be on the external catheter and half should be on the skin. Make sure the tape does not overlap on itself. (The penis can be damaged if the tape reduces the blood circulation.)
  11. If you used spray adhesive, remove paper towel and throw it away.
  12. Hook up the external catheter to the drainage tube or leg bag.
  13. Change into dry clothes, if necessary
  14. (MedlinePlus Health Topic, 2010; National Association for Continence, 2012; Wound Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society, 2008).

Delegation Considerations

  • May be performed by a school nurse, RN, or LPN.
  • May also be delegated to appropriately trained, unlicensed assistive personnel with supervision, evaluation and feedback, and an IHCP in place.

Select Nursing Considerations

This task may be performed on a cot, on the toilet, or in a wheelchair. Skin problems should be reported to the parent or health care provider. Students who are capable should be taught to perform this task independently.


AUA Foundation. (2011). Managing bladder dysfunction with products and devices. Retrieved January 3, 2012.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2010). Catheter-associated urinary tract infections. Retrieved January 14, 2012.

MedlinePlus Health Topic. (2010). External incontinence devices. Retrieved January 3, 2012.

National Association for Continence. (2012). Male external catheters. Retrieved January 3, 2012.

Wound Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society. (2008). External Catheter: Fact Sheet 2008. Retrieved January 3, 2012.


Content Last Modified on 7/23/2014 1:25:46 PM