Do you have a clever way to do IS teaching? - page 2

by EGVnurse

5,903 Views | 23 Comments

I work on a Med-surg unit with adult patients and I teach all of them how to use incentive spirometry. But you know what I realized, I'm bad at teaching it! I'm such a poor teacher when it comes to IS, sometimes my patients think... Read More


  1. 0
    I just tell them to suck it like a straw. LOL
  2. 1
    I instruct them to suck in, take rests, coughing is good, keep the little bobber in between the arrows ( I call it the strike zone for those into baseball- that works well with men haha).
    I then throw out incentives : this will help you get off of oxygen because your lungs will improve ; prevent pneumonia; help you cough up all that gunk. If I hear crackles on assessment I tell them and reinforce IS teaching and tell them I will be reassessing during my shift. Patients really seem to respond to that.
    TriciaJ likes this.
  3. 2
    I always tell Pts to such on the IS like a straw too! For the elevated temp question...when I was in nursing school, I remember reading in my Med-Surg book that when you don't breath deep that CO2 builds up in your system and voila, you get a low grade temp.

    PS. First post ever (finally)
    TriciaJ and wheeliesurfer like this.
  4. 1
    Ok here is my instructions..... First I want you to take a deep breath out like this (show them)...Put your mouth around it (again show them without actually putting your mouth on it LOL) and take a slow deep breath in and hold it like your sucking on a straw.... The goal is for you to make this white thing get to at least 2500 if you can... Go ahead and do this a couple of times... not in a row we dont want you hyperventilating!! Do it at least 10 times an hour while your awake.

    Works everytime... usually dont have to show them more than once Hope that helps!
    mitral likes this.
  5. 0
    I tell my patients to pretend theyre drinking a thick milkshake; most of them are NPO at this point because theyre post-op and they love this lol. And it is amazing how just cheering people on can get them to use that IS! I was afraid at first that it would be too juvenile for adult patients but most really like it. No matter how high they get it I say "I bet you can get it twice as high!" Then when they are REALLY trying and doing it right I say something like "Wow! Most people can't get it that high so soon! Good job!" Cuz' humans love a little competition (Some people just flat out feel like crap and find this cheerfulness annoying. I tone it down for them!) Also pop your head in the door randomly and remind them to use it with a big smile, because they often forget. 9 out of 10 times when I come back in to check on them they brag about how well theyre doing with it.
  6. 3
    I have a colleague who just yells "SUCK! Don't BLOW!" It always sounds so funny when you hear her yelling at some little old man!
    Debilpn23, jadelpn, and BrandonLPN like this.
  7. 0
    "Use this or you will catch pneumonia and die"
    (maybe word it a little differently)
  8. 1
    Quote from BrandonLPN
    "Use this or you will catch pneumonia and die"
    (maybe word it a little differently)
    That wording works!
    Lev <3 likes this.
  9. 0
    I've had little old ladies who couldn't grasp the "suck" concept. As soon as they got their lips around it they had to blow, despite repeated instructions. So I'd put a straw in some liquid and tell them to blow bubbles, then ask them how much liquid they were able to take in that way. They knew they got more by sucking on the straw, not blowing. I'd tell them the same principle worked with the IS. Sometimes they actually got it. Sometimes I had to resort to teaching deep breathing.
  10. 0
    I tell my pt to imagine you are sucking a milkshake through a McDonald's straw. To get them to do it 10x an hour I tell them that if they are watching TV, grab the IS and do it a few times every time there are commercials, they usually get 10 in no time!


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