Chest tube COVER PHOTO (1)

Contact Hours Awarded: 4

Chest tube placement is common procedure in many hospitals, yet nurses consistently rank them as one of the most overwhelming drains to care for. A malfunction in a chest tube can be deadly for a patient in a matter of seconds. Many hospitals have recognized them as a common source of error and patient harm. For these reasons it is imperative that nurses understand how chest tubes function and how to care for them. In this course we will discuss the anatomy, indications, and care of chest tubes.

Course outline:

  1. Introduction
  2. What Is a Chest Tube?
  3. Current Practice
  4. Indications for Chest Tube Placement
  5. Patient Considerations
  6. Potential Complications
  7. Where Are Chest Tubes Placed?
  8. Chest Tube Drainage Systems
  9. Nurse Roles and Responsibilities: How to Manage Chest Tubes
  10. Chest Tube Troubleshooting: When to Call the Doctor
  11. Summary
  12. References (Bibliography)

Accreditation statement: Nursing CE Central is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

More course information

In this course we will discuss the anatomy, indications, care, and troubleshooting of chest tubes. It will take the average learner 200 minutes to complete.

After completing this course, the learner will be able to:

  1. Identify the relevant anatomy and indications for chest tube placement.

  2. Understand the basics of the procedure and different type of chest tubes.

  3. Explain the care of chest tubes including basic troubleshooting.

Target audience:

Registered Nurses (RN)

Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN)

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN)

Requirement for completion:

1.) Enrollment in the course by the learner

2.) Read and learn all course materials

3.) Complete the course evaluation

4.) Attest and testify learning of the course materials

Course offering: # 8

Accreditations and approvals:

ANCC (Provider# P0614)
California BRN (Provider# 17418)
Kentucky Board of Nursing (Provider# 7-0090)

Course expiration date: March 1, 2022

Conflict of interest statement: Nursing CE Central nor any of the authors, planners, content experts or any contributors have a commercial interest nor were influenced by commercial interests in the creation of this course, financially or otherwise.

Course Content

Total learning: 1 lesson Time: 15 days


Meghan Jenkins, MSN, APRN

Meghan is an acute care nurse practitioner with an extensive work history within the Intervention Radiology department. She is a graduate of Middle State University and is currently practicing with an interventional radiology group in Nashville, TN.


In this course we will discuss the anatomy, indications, care, and troubleshooting of chest tubes.