Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Nursing Honours


Faculty of Health and Human Sciences

First Advisor

Lorraine Grey

Second Advisor

Tony Hussey


Intermittent Catheterization is an invasive technique in which a hollow tube (catheter) is inserted into the bladder to drain urine at regular intervals when a patient does not void. Catheterization is a technique frequently performed by nurses. The skills of assessment by nurses of a patient's urinary bladder prior to instituting intermittent catherization (IC) have been neglected in the field of nursing research. The purpose of this descriptive-correlational study is to identify bladder assessment skills (BAS) among hospital nurses prior to instituting intermittent catheterization. The study asks the questions: To what extent do nurses utilize BAS, and what is the relationship between BAS and demographic data? A stratified non-random convenience sample of 64 nurses of varying levels and from medical, surgical, gerontological and orthopaedic wards of a major metropolitan hospital participated in the study. A four-part, 29-item questionnaire was used to gather demographic and BAS data in the presence of the researcher. Data was analysed by frequency distributions, tables, one-way analysis of variance, Pearson's Product Moment Correlation and t test. The findings indicated that over 80% of nurses reported that they performed most of the BAS often or always, with the exception of inspection and percussion. Only 11% of nurses reported that they always performed comprehensive bladder assessment skills prior to instituting intermittent catheterization. There was no relationship between the frequency with which BAS were performed and employment designation, education, experience, age, gender, knowledge and nursing speciality. Nurses knowledge was low, particularly when determine the time frame for instituting intermittent catheterization. Using Gagne's model of information processing as a framework for interpretation, it is suggested that when performing BAS most nurses progress through the stages of Gagne's model prior to their decision to institute intermittent catherization. Implications focus primarily on improving the knowledge base through an educational programme, which in turn should increase the number of nurses who perform comprehensive bladder assessment. This will improve the consistency of nursing practice. In addition, if there are inconsistencies in practice, the implementation of a policy on a uniform method of bladder assessment and management will have both social and financial benefits.

Included in

Nursing Commons