Working CC, I recently followed a nurse that did something that struck me as odd. The pt was pretty imminent and was mouth breathing with long periods of apnea. She had been on O2 @ 5L via N/C. When I was getting report from the night nurse, I noticed the pt's N/C looked like it has slipped down. I went to readjust and the nurse told me, "Oh no. It's supposed to be like that. She started mouth-breathing so I moved the cannula down to her mouth so it would work better."
Now, I'm pretty new to hospice so maybe I don't know all the little tricks but that didn't make any sense to me at all. Personally if I felt that the pt absolutely needed o2 and was mouth breathing, I would have used a mask. In a pt that was so obviously imminent but showing no signs of discomfort or distress, I would have just left it in place. When I gave report to the CM she didn't act like it was anything unusual.
Am I completely missing something here? Is this some helpful trick I just haven't learned yet? I just can't wrap my mind around the idea that it might be beneficial. If nothing else, I would think that would cause more discomfort for the pt by drying out their mouth or if using humidified O2 it would add to the secretions.
Is there a Legit reason for this that I am missing or was that a totally strange thing to do?