How to set up and administer an enteral feed via a nasogastric tube
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence & Practice Previous     Next

How to set up and administer an enteral feed via a nasogastric tube

Carolyn Best Nutrition nurse specialist, Nutrition and Dietetic Department, Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Hampshire, England

Rationale and key points

Nasogastric tube feeding is a method of enteral feeding commonly administered by nurses. Feed can be administered either using a volumetric enteral feeding pump (pump feeding) or via an enteral syringe (bolus feeding). This article explains how nurses can safely undertake these two methods of nasogastric tube feed administration at the patient’s bedside.

Nasogastric tube feeding can be used to provide some or all of the patient’s nutrition, fluid or medication.

Nurses should be equipped with the relevant knowledge to flush a nasogastric tube before the administration of feed or medication; set up and administer an enteral feed via a volumetric enteral feeding pump; and set up and administer a feed using a bolus method.

The position of the distal tip of the nasogastric tube must be confirmed as sitting in the patient’s stomach before the tube is used to administer enteral feed, fluid or medication.

Reflective activity

‘How to’ articles can help you update your practice and ensure it remains evidence-based. Apply this article to your practice. Reflect on and write a short account of:

How you think this article will change your practice when setting up and administering an enteral feed via a nasogastric tube.

How you could use this resource to educate your colleagues about nasogastric tube feeding via an enteral feeding pump or bolus feeding.

Nursing Standard. 31, 45, 42-47. doi: 10.7748/ns.2017.e10509


Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 01 April 2016

Accepted: 08 May 2017

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