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Bag Technique in Nursing

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By Matt Vera BSN, R.N.

The bag technique is a tool by which the nurse, during her visit will enable her to perform a nursing procedure with ease and deftness, to save time and effort with the end view of rendering effective nursing care to clients.

The public health bag is an essential and indispensable equipment of a public health nurse which she has to carry along during her home visits. It contains basic medication and articles which are necessary for giving care.


  • Performing the bag technique will minimize, if not, prevent the spread of any infection.
  • It saves time and effort in the performance of nursing procedures.
  • The bag technique can be performed in a variety of ways depending on the agency’s policy, the home situation, or as long as principles of avoiding transfer of infection is always observed.


The following are the contents of a Public Health Nurse bag:

  • Paper lining
  • Extra paper for making waste bag
  • Plastic/linen lining
  • Apron
  • Hand towel
  • Soap in a soap dish
  • Thermometers (oral and rectal)
  • 2 pairs of scissors (surgical and bandage)
  • 2 pairs of forceps (curved and straight)
  • Disposable syringes with needles (g. 23 & 25)
  • Hypodermic needles (g. 19, 22, 23, 25)
  • Sterile dressing
  • Cotton balls
  • Cord clamp
  • Micropore plaster
  • Tape measure
  • 1 pair of sterile gloves
  • Baby’s scale
  • Alcohol lamp
  • 2 test tubes
  • Test tube holders
  • Solutions of:
    • Betadine
    • 70% alcohol
    • Zephiran solution
    • Hydrogen peroxide
    • Spirit of ammnonia
    • Ophthalmic ointment
    • Acetic acid
    • Benedict’s solution

*BP apparatus and stethoscope are carried separately and are never placed in the bag.

Points to consider

  1. The bag should contain all the necessary articles, supplies and equipment that will be used to answer the emergency needs
  2. The bag and its contents should be cleaned very often, the supplies replaced and ready for use anytime.
  3. The bag and its contents should be well protected from contact with any article in the patient’s home.
  4. Consider the bag and its contents clean and sterile, while articles that belong to the patients as dirty and contaminated.
  5. The arrangement of the contents of the bag should be the one most convenient to the user, to facilitate efficiency and avoid confusion.


The following are steps in performing bag technique and rationale for each action:

Upon arrival at the patient’s home, place the bag on the table lined with a clean paper. The clean side must be out and the folder part, touching the tableTo protect the bag from getting contaminated.
Ask for a basing of water or a glass of drinking water if tap waster is not available.To be used for hand washing.
Open the bag and take out the towel and soap.To prepare for hand washing.
Wash hands using soap and water, wipe to dry.To prevent infection from the care provider to the client.
Take out the apron from the bag and put it on with the right sideTo protect the nurse’s uniform.
Put out all the necessary articles needed for the specific care.To have them readily accessible
Close the bag and put it in one corner of the working area.To prevent contamination
Proceed in performing the necessary nursing care treatment.To give comfort and security and hasten recovery
After giving the treatment, clean all things that were used and perform hand washing.To protect the caregiver and prevent infection
Open the bag and return all things that were used in their proper places after cleaning them. 
Remove apron, folding it away from the person, the soiled side in and the clean side out.Remove apron, folding it away from the person, the soiled side in and the clean side out. Place it in the bag.
Fold the lining, place it inside the bag and close the bag 
Take the record and have a talk with the mother. Write down all the necessary data that were gathered, observations, nursing care and treatment rendered. Give instructions for care of patients in the absence of the nurse.
Make appointment for the next visit (either home or clinic) taking note of the date and time.For follow-up care

See also

Matt Vera, a registered nurse since 2009, leverages his experiences as a former student struggling with complex nursing topics to help aspiring nurses as a full-time writer and editor for Nurseslabs, simplifying the learning process, breaking down complicated subjects, and finding innovative ways to assist students in reaching their full potential as future healthcare providers.

5 thoughts on “Bag Technique in Nursing”

  1. Why are we not placing Bp cuff and stethoscope in the bag? In home health care, after cleansing and sanitizing hands our practice is to place equipment back into the clean side of the bag.

  2. Are you kidding with this? A soap dish? Putting on an apron? Where are the gloves? Where is the hand sanitizer? I’d never get through my day with this technique. This is like a 1950 tutorial.


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