A new graduate nurse is assigned to a 30-year-old female requiring NG tube feeding. The preceptor reminds the graduate nurse to check placement of the NG tube before administering the feeding. The best way to do this is by

  1. verifying placement with an X-ray before each feeding.
  2. aspirating gastric contents and testing the contents on a pH paper.
  3. auscultating bowel sounds after administering a 30 cc air bolus.
  4. auscultating bowel sounds after administering the first 10 cc of tube feeding.
Number 2 is correct.
Rationale: The best practice to verifying NG tube placement is by aspirating gastric contents and checking the pH. If the pH is above 5.5, the placement is assumed to be correct and the nurse can continue with the feeding. While an X-ray is an accurate determination of testing NG tube placement, checking before each feeding is not feasible for practice. An air bolus can be used, but is not as effective as pH paper. Auscultation of bowel sounds is not effective as the client will have bowel sounds despite placement of the tube.