Patients who live with a tracheostomy tube depend on it to breathe. According to Medtronic, more than 100,000 Americans receive a tracheostomy tube placement each year with a significant increase among those aged 55 and older.

Here are our 4 Top Tips for Nurses to ensure the tracheostomy care they provide is as comfortable and effective as possible:

Pay attention to body language — Patient anxiety and stress levels can be reduced with effective communication and engagement. It’s extremely important to beware of your patient’s gestures, head nods, or writing as these are forms of communication they will often use since their verbal communication abilities are inhibited.

Keep Supplies by your Patient’s Bedside — This ensures that you will have easy access for suctioning, tube and stoma care, delivery of oxygen, tube replacement and artificial ventilation.

Secure New Ties to the Tracheostomy Tube Flanges — You will need to do this before removing the old ones; and place a sterile sponge under the flanges to absorb secretions.

Perform proper cleanings — Any skin opening can be at risk for infection which is why daily care must be a priority for patients with a tracheostomy. When cleaning around the patient’s stoma, be sure that you are gentle (rubbing can irritate the patient’s skin). Moving slowly and providing tender care can lessen pain levels, tissue trauma, and help to reduce patient anxiety.

About Greater NY Nursing Services

Greater NY Nursing Services, based in New York City, is a comprehensive care management company, exclusively comprised of Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses, serving healthcare partners and patients in NYC, Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Ulster, Putnam, Duchess, and Sullivan counties. The company’s mission is to integrate care into the patient’s family dynamic to produce the best outcomes, improved quality of life, and faster interventions with fewer hospitalizations. Whether you’re in need of quality private duty nursing care or you’re seeking a great career opportunity, Greater NY Nursing is committed to offering the highest level of nursing care that aims to enrich the life of every patient and minimize preventable complications. For more information, email, call 212-NURSING, or visit

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