Medication Administration via Gastrostomy Tube with Syringe



  • Be sure to take steps to ensure patient privacy when performing procedure
  • The most significant risk with giving liquids via a gastrostomy tube is possible aspiration into the lungs, be sure the student is positioned properly with head elevated at least 30 degrees
  • Encourage the student to assist in the procedure as much as he/she is able to help the student learn self-care skills.


Prescribed medication
Measuring cups
Extension set, if applicable
Warm tap water, if prescribed
Towel or wash cloth
Non-sterile gloves
Student’s Individualized Health Plan (IHP) and/or healthcare provider’s order

This video was developed in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

  1. Check for authorization forms/record
    • Medication Administration Form
    • Medical provider
    • Parent/guardian
  2. Check for the Five Rights
    • Right student
    • Correct time
    • The medicine container matches authorization forms and medication administration record
    • The dose on medication container matches authorization form and records
    • The medication is in the correct route as identified on medication container, authorization forms and medication record
  3. Ensure that the medication has not expired
  4. Explain the procedure to the student at his/her level of understanding
  5. Wash hands
  6. Gather equipment and place on clean surface
  7. Position child either sitting or supine with head up at least 30 degrees
    • The most significant risk with giving liquids via a gastrostomy tube is possible aspiration into the lungs, be sure the student is positioned properly with head elevated at least 30 degrees
  8. Put a towel or washcloth under student’s gastrostomy tube
  9. Put on gloves
  10. Observe abdomen for signs of malposition or obstruction of gastrostomy tube such as difference in external tube length compared to baseline measurements or abdominal distention
    • Compare external tube length to tube length measurements obtained after initial placement of the tube, contact parents/guardian and healthcare provider if discrepancy in measurements
    • If student has abdominal distention do not administer the medication, instead contact parent/guardian and healthcare provider
  11. Measure the medication and water in separate measuring device, i.e. cup
  12. Draw up medication in syringe
  13. Fill the extension tubing with water using a syringe with at least 5 cc or ml of water
  14. Open port on the gastrostomy access port
  15. Attach the extension tube filled with water to the access port
  16. Open medication port on the extension tube and insert syringe with medication
  17. Slowly push the plunger into barrel of syringe instilling all the medication into the tube
  18. Close clamp extension tube
  19. Detach the syringe from the extension tubing
  20. Draw up prescribed water into syringe and attach the extension tubing
  21. Open clamp
  22. Gently and slowly push the water into tubing until all water has gone into the tube
  23. Re-clamp extension tubing
  24. Detach syringe and cap access port
  25. Secure medication
  26. Wash syringe and extension tubing with soap and warm water and put in home container
    • Check with your school nurse about the length of time to reuse any of the equipment
  27. Remove gloves
  28. Wash hands
  29. Document medication administration on medication administration record
  30. Follow up with parents/guardian and healthcare provider, as needed.



MIC Enteral Feeding Tubes and Accessories

Guidance and support to help you manage your gastrostomy tube (g-tube) Capsule Non-Balloon Mini ONE® Buttons


Bowden, V. R., & Greenberg, C. S. (2012). Pediatric nursing procedures (Third Edition). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Connecticut State Department of Education.

Connecticut State Department of Education.  (2012). Clinical Procedure Guidelines for Connecticut School Nurses.  Available at:

Kimberly Clark. (2010). MIC-KEY care and usage guide.  Available at:–usage-guide.aspx

Pavia, M.  (2012).  National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). Infection. Prevention and control of healthcare-associated infections in primary and community care. London (UK): National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), 47 p.

Acknowledgment of Reviewers:

The procedure list and video for this procedure were developed in collaboration with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Bette Carr, MSN, RN, NCSN
School Health Associates

[Previously: School Nursing and Health Services Consultant
WI Department of Public Instruction]

Teresa DuChateau, DNP, RN
School Health Associates

[Previously: School Nurse Resource Coordinator
WI Public Health Association]

Page last updated: October 1, 2015