NG Tube Insertion – Practice is Key to Perfection

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NG tube or nasogastric tube insertion involves guiding a tube into a patient’s stomach through the nostril and esophagus. This thin plastic tube can help nurses deliver food and medication directly into a patient’s stomach. The need to do so can be for varied reasons and the decision for an NG tube insertion is purely the physicians.  

Indications – Therapeutic and Diagnostic 

Inserting an NG tube creates a direct contact with a patient’s stomach and its contents. A physician will call for this procedure for either therapeutic or diagnostic purposes or both. 

Therapeutic indications of NG tube insertions include: 

– Decompression of gastrointestinal tract 

– Post esophagus surgery 

– Feeding 

– Administering medicine 

Diagnostic indications include: 

– Aspirating gastric content for medical examination 

– Determining stomach injury in event of abdominal trauma 



The NG tube insertion procedure is a fairly simple one but still requires careful execution. Minor mistakes can lead to discomfort, internal injury or improper placement of the tube, leading to further complications.  

As a nurse practitioner performing the procedure, certain precautions can be followed to ensure a successful insertion. Measures also need to be taken to warrant adequate hygiene rules are adhered to.  

– Always have the patient sit upright. 

– Carefully examine the nostrils and choose the one with a wider opening for the insertion. 

– Refrigerating the tube may prevent the tube from coiling. 

– Place a hand behind the patient’s head to prevent patient from pulling back. 

– Ask the patient to take small sips of water to facilitate passing the tube through the pharynx into the esophagus and eventually into the stomach. 

– Make sure to wear gloves, eye and face protection gear, and a gown. 

– Patients with an altered mental state should have their airway secured with an endotracheal tube. 

– In case a patient coughs or vomits, make sure to check and confirm the tube placement as there are chances of it getting displaced. 


Skill Practice with MedVR Ed 

NG tube insertion falls under the essential care nursing skills. Nurses may be required to perform this procedure innumerable times on multiple patients. Excellence and efficiency do not come overnight and require consistent and mindful practice to gain the desired level of skill. MedVR Education, with its virtually simulated clinical solution for NG tube insertion provides nurses with the perfect platform to train, practice, and assess their skills.  

Practice and assessment sessions are provided in: 

Patient preparation: It is important to gently, politely yet with practicality to lead a patient into a procedure. This is the patient preparation stage and as a practicing registered nurse it is important to confirm the identity of the patient, perform hand hygiene, familiarize the patient with the procedure and make the patient feel at ease.    

NG Tube Insertion: The insertion of the tube is the primary task here. As part of this training module, learners get practice in inserting the tube, ensuring the correct placement and performing the ‘whoosh’ test.  


Practicing with MedVR Ed 

MedVR Education offers its learners virtually simulated photorealistic environments that present an ideal ground for practicing procedures. Each session is packed with multiple advantages to provide a rich and engaging setting for learning. 

Close to reality environments to present a true-to-life learning atmosphere. 

Practicing with virtual patients to gain realistic experiences. 

– Adequate affordances with physics-based interactions that create lifelike experiences. 

Haptic feedback to identify the results of one’s actions and improve accordingly. 

– Controlled environments to provide zero-risk opportunities that help learners learn from mistakes. 

Stress-free sessions to help practice and perform better. 

Multiple practice sessions to provide innumerable practice opportunities for skill refinement. 

Self-analysis of performance that is achieved through a web-based dashboard. 

– Training-mode’s instant feedback feature which helps identify mistakes and rectify them immediately. 

– An assessment mode to help learners’ recap, revise, assess their skills and perfect the procedure. 

Detailed instructions with appropriate affordances to ensure a thorough practice session. 

Ease of access assured as all technical issues are managed at the backend by the tech team. 


Simple or complex, every medical procedure requires precision and care. Thorough practice in the NG tube insertion procedure guarantees smooth execution and helps avoid unnecessary discomfort to the patient. 

Contact us to know more about VR in healthcare training, or visit our MedVR Education webpage to explore the various programs we offer.