Published Jan 5, 2014
My advice on taking care of vent patients..???
Anna Flaxis, BSN, RN
I don't understand your question.
It depends on what you want to know about when it comes to taking care of a ventilated patient. Your best resource is your RT. Talk with them during a down time and touch base on what area's you are and are not comfortable with when it comes to working with ventilated patients. Sadly, the majority of nursing programs only gloss over or mention working with a ventilated patient and often enough employers do the same expecting the RT to manage everything.
When I wrote the new graduate orientation program in my department I included a four day orientation to ventilators, bi-paps, si-paps, and high flow oxygen use that was conducted at the bedside with an RT.
Good information to know is:
Type of ventilator your facility uses
Typical cycle settings, mode settings, and pressure support your docs prefer (Pressure vs Volume, SIMV VS APRV, etc)
Is your PEEP dialed in or is it external?
Ask them to review what each setting does to effect a patient. When to increase PEEP vs oxygen? What to do when dealing with ineffective volumes?
Start here and check with your ICU as well. If they have an educator they are usually very good resources.
Hope this helps!
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