Re-Taping Nasogastric (NG) Tubes

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Step One:  Get silk tape. Paper tape is no good. Don’t even get me started on that clear tape. The benefit of silk tape is twofold. It sticks better and it’ll appear clear as the patient perspires, indicated that it should be changed soon.

Step Two: After carefully removing the tape and noting the NG’s insertion distance, have the patient hold on to the NG, instructing them to hold it in place. Tell them to close their eyes as you clean off their nose and NG tube near the nares with an alcohol pad (the alcohol will make their eyes water). Rip of 5-7 inches of silk tape. One inch silk tape is plenty good. I find two inch silk tape is a bit much, but an inch and a half works great.

Step Three: As the patient maintains hold of the NG, rip roughly two thirds of the silk tape in half.

Step Four: Remembering the insertion distance reposition the NG as needed. Place the unripped portion of the tape on top of the patient’s nose.

Step Five: Curl one half of the split tape and attach it to the tape affixed to the patient’s nose. This will keep it out of our way for the time being. Loop the other portion of the tape around the NG as shown.

Step Six: Repeat with the other portion of tape. Admire the beauty of a well taped NG tube. Tell the patient they look awesome!

Notes:

  • It’s important to note the insertion distance at bedside report
  • If it changed X (your facility’s policy of centimeters) amount in or out, contact the provider
  • Sweaty  patients and patients with runny noses will need to be changed more often
  • Crossing an addition piece of tape over what you’ve done above provides little to no added hold
  • Patients with cleanly taped noses will be happier, no one wants to have another NG tube put in, especially while conscious
  • Anchoring a distal portion of the NG to the patient’s gown with a tape tab and safety pin, allowing for good range of motion of neck without tugging, will prevent inadvertent pulling on the anchoring nose tape.
  • Done correctly, we get a great hold to prevent the NG from sliding out, saving us time in the long run.

-Nurse David

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