Nasopharyengeal Collection

Nasopharyngeal Swab Culture Collection Instruction

1.    Cleanse with appropriate hand hygiene and don gloves. 
2.    The collector must apply a facemask, and may choose a protective gown.
3.   Prepare young pediatric patients by having a second staff member immobilize patient to avoid injury during procedure.
4.   Open appropriate swab package and remove wire or plastic swab avoiding contamination of the swab end.
5.   Very gently pass the swab through the nostril into the nasopharynx (see illustration). The swab should be inserted into the posteriornares, but no more than two inches into the nasopharynx. Do not at any time force the swab.
          Note:   If using a copan plastic swab do not insert past   
                      the point where swab narrows. Below the break 
                      point identified in red on the swab. 
          Note:   If resistance is met during insertion, do not force. 
                      This could indicate a deviated septum or large 
                      turbinate. At this time discontinue and attempt 
                      procedure in the opposite nare only. If both nostrils/nares meet resistance, discontinue procedure 
                      and notify physician.
6.   After the swab is in place, release swab (to avoid injury in the event the patient moves unexpectedly) and maintain swab in posterior nare for 15-30 seconds, or until the patient coughs. 
           Note:   The other nostril should be utilized if the patient sneezes or coughs.
7.   Gently and slowly remove swab from nostril.

Label specimen patient’s full legal name, a unique identifier (the unique identifier may be the Date Of Birth, Social Security, Driver's License Number and must be on tube and requisition to qualify as unique identifier), date and time of collection, and include the site and/or source of collection and any antibiotic therapy history.