One of the most important things we had to learn before Nathan could be discharged was how to place a Nasogastric (NG) tube. The NG tube is a soft, thin tube that is inserted up the nostril, into the nasal cavity, down the esophagus, and into the stomach.
Before inserting the tube, you must first measure it to ensure that you have the proper length. The tube is measured from the tip of the nose to the ear and then down to the xyphoid process. A mark is then made at that spot so that when the tube is inserted you will know how far it needs to go to reach the stomach.
The tip of the tube is then lubricated and then inserted into one of the nostrils. You should aim the tube down and back as it is moved through the nasal cavity and down into the throat. There may be some gagging at this point, but you're supposed to just keep moving it down. Just make sure to be careful that you don't put it down the trachea and into the lungs! Once it enters the esophagus, though, it should be easily maneuvered into the stomach.
Once you've inserted the tube, you then need to check to make sure it's actually in the right place. To check placement, you fill a 5cc syringe with air, place a stethoscope on the child's tummy, and shoot the air in short bursts into the tube. If it's in the correct place, you should hear a swoosh of air or gurgling or bubbling in the child's tummy.
You can then pull back on the syringe and if the air comes back out (along with stomach juices) that's another good sign that you've got it in the right place!
Sounds easy enough, doesn't it?