At 180 Medical, we want to make sure our customers are educated and informed on how best to use their urinary catheters. It's important not only for your optimum health to make the process of learning how to self-cath as smooth as possible. While you may be new to this process and even have some concerns about intermittent catheterization, that's completely normal. But with some time and practice, as well as following these tips, you will be a pro at catheterization before you know it.
Below, we offer a list of top ten tips to learning intermittent catheterization:
1. Be sure to follow the instructions and scheduled regimen that you are prescribed by your healthcare professional.
2. Watch some of our helpful instructional videos online, for men, women, and even children. We also offer one-of-a-kind educational material such as a color-printed How To Cath brochure and a DVD that can be sent to you with your orders.
3. Do not re-use the catheters. You will want to ensure that you are using a clean and sterile catheter each time. Learn more about the risks of reusing catheters here.
4. Find the right catheter for you. Since everyone is an individual with their own preferences and unique needs, no one catheter will work for everybody across the board. There are different lengths, sizes, and catheter types to choose from. Your healthcare professional can help you with this choice, and our trained Product Specialists are also available to team up with you and your physician to find the best intermittent catheter for your needs. Ensuring you have the right catheter will give you an overall better experience with cathing, including comfort and ease of use.
5. For women who need intermittent catheterization, you may need to use a mirror at first to see what you are doing and to ensure that the catheter is inserted correctly. You may find a mirror is not necessary after you become used to the cathing process, but it can be helpful especially at first as you learn the ropes.
6. Wash your hands well before you catheterize each time, which will lessen the risk of contamination of your catheter and possible urinary tract infections.
7. Some even prefer to use gloves and other insertion supplies, such as disinfectant wipes and an underpad, when you are inserting a catheter. This will help to keep the process sterile and further reduce the risk of infection.
9. At first, it can be especially helpful to use a catheter diary. This will help you track useful information that your physician may want to know as you begin your self-cathing regimen, such as your output, time of day you performed self-catheterization, etc.
10. Practice makes perfect. While it may seem difficult or even scary at first as you begin to self-cath, know that you will get used to the process after a while, and you are not alone in having to use catheters.
Keeping these tips in mind will help to keep your usage of intermittent catheters as safe, as easy, and as sterile as possible. Don't be afraid to discuss any questions with your prescribing healthcare professional, and as always, our friendly, well-trained team of specialists are here for you as well. Feel free to contact us during business hours to talk about your options.