Name: ________________________________________
Date: _________________________________________
Procedure 54-4:
Administering a Rectal or Vaginal Suppository
Objective: Insert a suppository as ordered by the physician.
Equipment and Supplies: Medication order signed by physician; water-soluble lubricant; water;
waste container; patient instructions; vaginal suppository or cream; sanitary napkin; rectal
suppository; nonsterile gloves; 4 × 4 gauze square; pen
Affective Behaviors: Affective behaviors provide a professional approach to a skill that enhances
the patient encounter. These behaviors may also display sensitivity to a patient’s rights and
enhance communication. Pay close attention to these skills, which will be in bold, italicized font.
Skills Assessment Requirements
Read and familiarize yourself with the procedure. Complete each procedure within a reasonable
amount of time, with a minimum of 85% accuracy.
Use the area below for any documentation needed to complete the procedure.
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Name: ________________________________________
Date: _________________________________________
= 3–6 points
= 7–9 points
# 1
# 2
1. Assemble equipment.
2. Perform hand hygiene.
3. Select the correct medication as
instructed in the “three befores.
If you are not familiar with the
medication, look it up in a
reference book, read the package
insert, consult the physician, or do
all three.
4. Always double-check the label
to validate that the strength is
correct, because medications
are manufactured with dierent
5. Correctly calculate the dosage
in writing. Double-check your
calculations with someone else.
6. Check the dosage again against
the medication order.
7. Replace the cap on the
medication bottle and return
the bottle to the storage shelf or
refrigerator after reading the label
8. Warmly greet and identify the
patient both by stating his or
her name and examining any
printed identification such as
a wrist name band or medical
record. Introduce yourself to the
patient and ask if the patient has
any allergies.
9. Give the patient a gown or sheet.
Have the patient remove all
clothing from the waist down.
Assist the patient as necessary
and provide reassurance,
because the patient may
be uncomfortable with the
administration of a suppository.
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Name: ________________________________________
Date: _________________________________________
= 3–6 points
= 7–9 points
# 1
# 2
10. Tell the patient the name of the
medication and dosage that
you are administering per the
physician’s order. Ask if the
patient has any questions before
receiving the medication.
11. a. Rectal suppository: Have the
patient lie on the left side, if
possible, with top leg bent.
Drape a sheet over the patient.
Apply nonsterile gloves. Open
the suppository wrapper and
place suppository on a gauze
square. Moisten the suppository
with a small amount of lubricant
or water. With one hand,
separate the buttocks. Pick
up the suppository with the
other hand. Ask the patient to
breathe slowly as you insert
the suppository from 1 to
1½ inches through the rectal
sphincter. Hold the buttocks
together and instruct the patient
not to bear down or push out
the suppository. Wipe the anal
area with the gauze and discard
gauze into a waste container.
Have the patient remain in
the side position for about 20
minutes until the suppository
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Name: ________________________________________
Date: _________________________________________
= 3–6 points
= 7–9 points
# 1
# 2
b. Vaginal suppository: Have
the patient lie supine (face
up) with legs apart and place
a clean pad between the
patient’s legs for placement
of supplies. Drape the patient
for privacy. Apply nonsterile
disposable gloves. Peel open
the suppository container and
drop the suppository on the
clean pad. If an applicator is
provided, drop it on the clean
pad. With one gloved hand,
separate the labia minora and
hold the folds apart. Using
the other hand, insert the
suppository one finger length
into the vagina. If an applicator
is used, place the suppository
into the applicator and insert
it in a downward direction.
Instruct the patient to remain in
the supine, legs-apart position
for at least 10 minutes for the
suppository to dissolve. Place
the applicator into the glove
wrapper. Remove one glove
by pulling inside out from the
cu. With the remaining gloved
hand, roll the contaminated
wrapper and contents. Hold
these waste items as you
remove the remaining glove
over them. Dispose of all
materials in a waste container.
Oer the patient a sanitary
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Name: ________________________________________
Date: _________________________________________
= 3–6 points
= 7–9 points
# 1
# 2
12. Remain with the patient until the
medication has dissolved.
13. Provide the patient with written
follow-up instructions if further
medication is to be taken.
14. Chart the medication
administration on the patient’s
record noting the time, medication
name, dosage, injection site,
route, and your name.
Points Earned
Points Possible 108 108
Percent Grade (Points Earned/
Points Possible)
Instructor Sign-O
Instructor: ______________________________________________ Date: _________________________
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