What is this? - page 2

I am not sure what hyperbaric nursing is. Would you fill me in? Thanks Brandy... Read More

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    Quote from nilepoc
    Nursing in a hyperbaric chamber. Usefull for divers who get the bends (nitrogen narcosis)
    Just thought I'd correct something here. Nitrogen Narocosis or Narc'd as it is more commenly called among divers is a drunk like sensation while diving and goes away as soon as the diver surfaces. The bends (what you treat w/ a chamber) is decompression sickness or DCS. This is when the body does not off gas efficiently and bubbles develop in the blood stream. When this happens the diver must be returned to depth in a chamber so that the bubbles can reabsorb and then be slowly off-gassed while ascending.

    Just thought I'd clear that up, no disrespect to nilepoc.

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    I recently completed 75 dives. I had radiation therapy in 1996 postoperatively for a parotid tumor. Somehow, my dentist missed some decay under the crown of a molar that was in the radiation field. It had to be extracted. I was sick about the whole thing. I had 20 pre-extraction HBO treatments. Being an RN and knowing enough to be dangerous I was very worried about osteoradionecrosis. I think we dodged the bullet this time, but I had to have a debridement a month after the tooth was extracted to remove some necrotic bone. The socket remained open and the wound just didn't look like it was going to come together and heal. And, then during the last two weeks of HBO it was like my fairy godmother touched me with her magic wand because it healed and closed up that fast.

    The respiratory therapists were terrific. The actual treatments for me were kind of boring because it's not all that much fun being confined for an hour and a half in a chamber, but I endured. I constantly questioned the nurse about how they handled situations like a patient having a seizure or a cardiac arrest while they were in the pressurized chamber. They were just so calm and cool about answering my questions.
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    Hyperbaric nursing is what you make of it.
    you can find chambers that can accommodate your skill level or enhance it.

    Nursing is pretty much the same as far as assessment basic care and education, but to be really effective and earn your pay you will need to have critical care experience. Many of the chambers have technicians that dive/drive/monitor the "normal' dives - treatments with patients that are not critical.
    Critical dives/treatments - Traumatic amputaions, serious soft tissue necrosis, crush injuries or anything with monitoring devices, IV's and big drugs are going to need a nurse to dive the patient during treatment. Some facilities allow their technicians to perform some dives with IV's or other monitoring devices, but that all depends on the medical director - it is his license.
    Again much of the protocol concerning treatment is site specific. I would recommend visiting the sites listed in other replies and checking out UHMS.org, baromedical.com, hyperbaricnursing.org, and any hospital sites with chambers, they are going to be a little more reputable than some of the free standing units. Ain't knocking them, but some of them are really fly by night. Stick with the big boys initially to get your feet wet and learn the ropes before you venture into free standing.
    Lastly, I would recommend you find a nearby hyperbaric chamber and go visit them. pick their brains! like any specialty, you stroke their ego by having them explain their job and their importance! I know! I used to run a facility! It is a wonderful field growing everyday!

    I babble a bit too much! I hope this helps!
    Cheers -
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    we have a pt with chronic sores on her legs with very porr circulation to her lower extremities. her specialist that she just saw suggested this hyperbaric treatment like 2-3 hours per day, 5 days a week. Does this sound right or that it might even make a difference? she has had these sores for over 10 years now...
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    Hyperbaric nursing is a tiny specialty that I have fallen in love with. I run a tiny hyperbaric department with two mono-place chambers. I do everything in the department, from training a few casual staff, to billing, to insurance, to administering treatments. This job challenges me in many different ways. In my humble opinion, a hyperbaric facility that deals with sick/emergent patients needs a STRONG critical care nurse. Althought hyperbarics often appears easy, the critical thinking element of it is not. The nurse needs to be confident to make decisions for the patient when they are in the chamber. Because it is such a small specialty, the hyperbaric staff member must often make important decisions on their own. They will often find that available physicians have no idea how to handle the situation. In a small department like mine, I have no co-workers. I have to rely on my experience as a nurse, as well as on-the-job training I had from the prior nurse, to make the right decisions....every time. Safety is also incredibly important in hyperbaric nursing. A nurse must use top notch assessment skills before treating their patient. I find this to be an incredibly exciting....but tiny field. My department is not located in a coastal region, so we don't see much decompression sickness. We treat both pediatric and adult medical indications (some emergent). For questions about what hyperbarics can be used to treat, visit UHMS.ORG or HBOEVIDENCE.COM

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