17.6 Checklist for NG Suction

Use the checklist below to review the steps for completion of the “NG Suction.”


Disclaimer: Always review and follow agency policy regarding this specific skill.

  1. Verify the provider’s order.
  2. Gather supplies: nonsterile gloves.
  3. Perform safety steps:
    • Perform hand hygiene.
    • Check the room for transmission-based precautions.
    • Introduce yourself, your role, the purpose of your visit, and an estimate of the time it will take.
    • Confirm patient ID using two patient identifiers (e.g., name and date of birth).
    • Explain the process to the patient and ask if they have any questions.
    • Be organized and systematic.
    • Use appropriate listening and questioning skills.
    • Listen and attend to patient cues.
    • Ensure the patient’s privacy and dignity.
    • Assess ABCs.
  4. Don the appropriate PPE as indicated.
  5. Perform abdominal and nasogastric tube assessment:
    • Assess skin integrity on the nose and ensure the tube is securely attached.
    • Use a flashlight to look in the nares to assess swelling, redness, or bleeding.
    • Ask the patient to open their mouth and look for curling of the tube in the patient’s mouth. The tube should go straight down into the esophagus.
    • Lower the blankets and move the gown up to expose the abdomen. Inspect from two locations.
    • Auscultate bowel sounds and then palpate the abdomen.


  6. Don gloves.
  7. Attach the NG tube to the suction canister.
  8. Set the rate of suction according to provider order:
    • Low intermittent suction is usually ordered. Low range on the suction device is from 0 to 80 mmHg. Starting between 40-60 mmHg is recommended. The suction level should not exceed 80 mmHg.
    • Observe for the gastric content to flow into the tubing and then the canister.
  9. Monitor canister output and document color, odor, consistency, and amount.
  10. Perform hand hygiene.
  11. Ensure safety measures when leaving the room:
    • CALL LIGHT: Within reach
    • BED: Low and locked (in lowest position and brakes on)
    • SIDE RAILS: Secured
    • TABLE: Within reach
    • ROOM: Risk-free for falls (scan room and clear any obstacles)
  12. Document the procedure and related assessment findings. Report any concerns according to agency policy.


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