How to administer suppositories

This learning module has been accredited by the Royal College of Nursing and was last updated in 2016.

All modules are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software.

Duration: 01:00:00 Type: How to modules Level: Students, Qualified Nurses


Ian Peate, Professor of nursing, Gibraltar Health Authority, Gibraltar.

Short description

Read this module and update your knowledge and skills on how to administer suppositories.

Detailed description

This module aims to help nurses to undertake the administration of suppositories in a safe, effective and patient-centred manner, ensuring privacy and dignity. Inserting rectal suppositories, whether to administer medication or to achieve bowel evacuation, is a common practice in health care.

  • The administration of suppositories should be undertaken by competent healthcare practitioners.
  • Suppositories can be used to achieve a local or systemic effect.
  • Some suppositories are used to deliver medicines.
  • The nurse should explain the procedure to the patient.
  • The nurse should document all care given.
  • The nurse should assist the patient before, during and following the procedure.