this descriptive and exploratory study aimed to verify the existence of factors related to the standardization of urinary catheters in a city in the interior of the state of s？o paulo, brazil. data was collected through interviews after approval obtained from the research ethics committee of the university of s？o paulo at ribeir？o preto school of nursing. of the nine hospital institutions who took part in the study, 100% have a standardized procedure for urinary catheterization. the institutions present differences in the proposed procedure, which interferes positively and negatively in its standardization and places doubt upon whether the standardized procedure is indeed being carried out. this study concludes that there is a need to reevaluate the proposed standardization, with interdisciplinary discussions to verify if the proposal is being carried out and to search for applicable training and teaching strategies.