Marci Pederson, RN, BSN, Nurse Educator/Consultant
This month we take a break from Marci’s regular regulatory update to answer the following question from one of our readers:
Dear Ms. Pederson:
I write to you regarding the proper way to empty a male urinal. It may sound trivial but there is nothing I can find on the proper way to empty the urinal in a semi-private room and the toilet has no mechanism to facilitate their rinsing. I'd appreciate a moment of your time and will give credence to your opinion or policy.
Clinical Resource Manager
Dear RN, BSN:
Thank you for your email and question. Before answering your question, I confirm that it is difficult to find something specific regarding what to do with emptying and cleaning a male urinal when the patient/resident is in a semi-private room. I did some searching on the CDC website and reviewed the federal regulations’ Guidance to Surveyors. Based on your description of the environment, I would make the following comments to answer your question.
- Before handling a male urinal the health care worker (HCW) should don gloves because of the potential of touching the body fluid of urine.
- With standard precautions we treat all body fluids as potentially infected.
- The male urinal can be emptied into the toilet stool when there is a bathroom connected with the semi-private room.
- Care should be taken not to spill or splatter drops of urine outside of the toilet bowl.
- If that should happen, the spill must be wiped up immediately with the germicidal your facility uses according to the manufacturer’s recommendations and instructions.
- The HCW should then place the urinal into a plastic opaque bag.
- When the urinal is in the bag, the HCW may remove the gloves and wash hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand-rub before touching anything else such as door handles.
- The HCW can then carry the urinal enclosed in the bag to the soiled utility room.
- Once the HCW has arrived at the soiled utility room and before taking the urinal out of the bag, the HCW should don gloves again.
- The HCW then removes the urinal from the plastic bag, and rinses the urinal with the sprayer in the hopper.
- After that the urinal can be sanitized with the facility’s disinfectant according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Most EPA-registered disinfectants have a label contact time of 10 minutes.
- However, multiple scientific studies have demonstrated the efficacy of disinfectants against pathogens with a contact time of at least 1 minute.
- The best practice is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations.
- Another thing to consider is the urinal manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning the urinal.
- Once the cleaning process is completed, the HCW should remove the gloves, clean the hands, and place the urinal in a clean plastic bag.
- The HCW carries the urinal back to the patient/resident’s room and stores appropriately.
- Sometimes urinals are seen on the over-bed table or night stand which also holds the water pitcher, telephone, and paper handkerchiefs.
- It is preferable to store the urinal out of sight in the bottom part of the night stand.
- However, some patients/residents will be very firm about where they want to store the urinal for easy access.
- When this situation presents itself, the HCW needs to educate the patient/resident about the reason not to store the urinal in the same area as the drinking water.
- If a compromise cannot be achieved, documentation is needed to describe the education provided to the resident and rationale for doing what is being done.
- This information needs to be in the care plan.
- Document the education, patient/resident response, and plan of action with date, time, and signature of the person documenting this.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for all of your Regulatory Compliance and Survey Preparation needs.
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As a former health facilities senior surveyor, Marci worked at the Department of Health Office of Licensure and Certification for eight years. Marci provides Survey Preparedness Consulting designed to create a culture of constant survey preparedness by helping staff understand regulatory requirements, not just comply with them.
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The Avera Solutions’ Blog contains writings from Marci and other Avera Education & Staffing Solutions staff and consultants.
Marci Pederson, RN, BSN
As a former health facilities senior surveyor, Marci served a variety of health care facilities. Her experience includes nursing education, medical/surgical nursing, psychiatric nursing, infection control, utilization review and quality assurance.
Have a question for Marci? A topic idea for her next column? Need more information on having a mock survey at your facility? Send her an email at email@example.com.