Question for preceptors

  1. For any of you who have been preceptor, I wanted to ask what you would recommend for a senior nursing student (doing her last term/reflective practice) in the NICU to know about the ventilator. I would like to know specifically what the role/responsibilities are of the nurse caring for a vent dependent baby. In our unit, the RT is in the unit if we have a baby on the vent, but the nurse is still responsible for changing settings, and responding to the baby. What settings does she manipulate, and when? I don't know if there is a book for new nurses or not...I have not been able to find one. My goal is to work in the NICU so I want to understand this in more depth than someone who is just passing through. This is one area that I really feel like I need more knowledge in.

    Thanks so much for any replies!

  2. Visit RNin2007 profile page

    About RNin2007

    Joined: Jun '05; Posts: 629; Likes: 327
    mom of two


  3. by   SteveNNP
    We always have 3 RRT's in our unit, so the only thing RN's need to touch on the vent is the fi02, start breath, and silence buttons. You probably won't be touching any of these for a while. You should research high-frequency oscillatory ventilation, inhaled nitric oxide, and know the basics of mechanical ventilation, PIP, PEEP, SIMV, Pressure Control, Pressure support, etc.. Search for respiratory/ventilator on this forum....I wrote a huge vent setting post a month or so ago.... best of luck!

  4. by   RNin2007
    Hey Stephen, thank you for the reply...I did a search on those terms and couldn't find your old post, but I did find some other postings where they recommended a book, and just some general discussions. Which is funny b/c I could have sworn I searched this forum before for this topic and couldn't find anything...hmmm. Any other search terms so I can find that post you had?


  5. by   Mags4711
    try searching HFO or HFOV or oscillator. One great overview book from a medical perspective that has quite a nice respiratory section is "The Michigan Manual" by Steven Donn.
  6. by   Love_2_Learn
    The newest issue of Advances in Neonatal Care (The official journal of the National Neonatal Nurses Association - NANN) has an excellent article titled A Nurse's Guide to Common Mechanical Ventilation Techniques and Modes Used in Infants written by Timothy M. Snow, RN, NNP and Debra H. Brandon, RN, PhD, CCNS. This article is part of the ongoing "Foundations in Newborn Care" part of the journal and is written specifically for bedside nurses whether they are newbies, old-timers or anywhere in between. The article is in Volume 7, Number 1 of Advances in Neonatal Care (February 2007). With this issue, the journal is being published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. You can find out more by going to as well as ; because you will automatically receive these journals bimonthly when you become a member of NANN. I believe you can also subscribe without becoming a NANN member, but being a member is totally so much more worth it in my humble opinion.

    As long as I am mentioning neonatal nursing organizations, let me also include the journal Neonatal Network which is published by The Academy of Neonatal Nursing which is terrific as well. You can find them on the web at ; I am a member of both and love them both; can't tell you how much I have learned, the friends and contacts I've made through both of them and the CEU's I have received to help maintain my RNC. I strongly encourage all NICU nurses to become members of at least one of these organizations and hopefully both of them!