Respiratory Nursing

2 Day Seminar: Wheezes, Coughs, Pandemics, Pneumonia, Pulmonary Embolism, ARDs, Chest X-Rays, Bronchiolitis, COPD, Injuries

12 Hours | 0 Mins
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This program is designed to update and enhance nursing skills, increasing knowledge of respiratory conditions and their management, including acute and chronic respiratory conditions, injuries and trauma. The focus of this seminar will be on the underpinning principles of respiratory assessment, interpretation of assessment findings, and their implications for nursing care.

Need for Program

Nurses are caring for patients with increasingly complex diseases, including those with respiratory disease. Most nurses will need respiratory assessment skills regardless of their work setting or specialty, as respiratory disease can affect people of all ages, can be acute or chronic, and can have a significant impact on the person affected. It is essential that nurses remain up to date on the latest in respiratory assessment and disease management.

Aims of Program

This program is designed to update and enhance nursing skills, increasing knowledge of respiratory conditions and their management, including acute and chronic respiratory conditions, injuries and trauma. The focus of this seminar will be on the underpinning principles of respiratory assessment, interpretation of assessment findings, and their implications for nursing care.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this program it is expected that the participants will be able to:

  1. Examine common acute and chronic respiratory disease states and their implications for nursing care
  2. Demonstrate advanced knowledge of assessment of the patient with respiratory diseases and common concurrent conditions, with the aid of interactive case studies and practical sessions
  3. Develop clinical reasoning and problem-solving skills across a range of nursing settings through complex case discussions
  4. Assess their skills in documentation and determination of assessment requirements for patients with acute or chronic respiratory disease


Day One

8:30am - Registration and Refreshments


Introduction to Respiratory Nursing Skills

With the prevalence of respiratory disease in our community, it is likely that no matter where you work some of your patients will have respiratory disease as either their primary or secondary diagnosis. We will review the objectives of this seminar and discuss the prevalence of respiratory disease in Australia.

  • Respiratory disease is a significant cause of ill health and hospitalisation in Australia.
  • It is estimated that more than 7 million Australians over the age of 35 may be at serious risk of lung disease.
  • More women in Australia die from lung cancer than breast cancer.


Respiratory Anatomy and Physiology Overview

An overview of the anatomy and physiology of the upper and lower airways, relating this to the complex processes underpinning respiration, gas exchange, and ventilation. Review understanding of respiratory terms:

  • Respiration (internal and external)
  • Gas exchange
  • Normal ventilation in the healthy person
  • Negative pressure ventilation vs positive pressure ventilation.

10:45am - Morning Tea and Coffee


Oxygen – The Good and the Bad, the Pink and the Blue

What all nurses need to know about oxygen in relation to clinical care, including the rationale for selection of oxygen therapy in relation to individual patient needs and pathophysiology.

  • Acute respiratory failure and the role of carbon dioxide and oxygen
  • Oximetry and the physiology of haemaglobin, monitoring oxygen saturations
  • Exploring the concepts of hypoxaemia, hypoxia and respiratory failure
  • Oxygen delivery systems – choosing the correct therapy.

12:30pm - Lunch Break and Networking


Arterial Blood Gases – Basic Interpretation

ABG analysis is complex and daunting for many nurses; however, through an understanding of the science we can demystify it. This session will include facilitated practical ABG analysis to consolidate your learning.

  • Dalton's Law of Partial Pressures
  • Normal ABG values
  • pH of the blood and the influence of acidosis on gas exchange
  • A guided approach to analysing ABG results.

3:00pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


Acute Respiratory Failure

What causes the respiratory system to fail and why? Understanding the pathophysiology can enhance your clinical reasoning skills and guide best practice management decisions. Here we examine the pathophysiology of common causes of acute respiratory failure, including:

  • Acute pulmonary oedema
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Airway obstruction and foreign bodies
  • Assessment of respiratory compromise
  • Pathophysiology of cough, stridor, dyspnoea, wheeze and sputum production
  • What pain is that?
  • Immediate care of the breathless patient.

5:00pm - Close of Day One of Program

Day Two

9:00am - Commencement of Day Two


Day One Review and Day Two Objectives


Asthma - What Is It? Types, Triggers and Treatment

Asthma is a common condition across the lifespan and may be exacerbated during illness. All nurses will care for people with asthma either as their primary or secondary diagnosis, so an in-depth understanding is essential.

  • Acute asthma and management
  • Chronic asthma and prevention
  • Childhood asthma
  • Assessment of asthma
  • Exacerbations of asthma
  • Medicines used in asthma and other reactive respiratory diseases
  • Asthma plans and discharge instructions
  • Interactive case studies.

10:30am - Morning Tea and Coffee


Chest Infections and Pneumonia

Respiratory tract infections are common and are often the reason for admission. They can also develop secondary to other chronic disease or acute illness.

This session will cover:

  • Assessment and management of the patient with infective lung disease
  • Pneumonia and related pathophysiology
  • Types of infective lung conditions, including Influenza
  • Management including antibiotic choices
  • ARDS – introduction of concepts
  • Considerations in care of the elderly or immunocompromised
  • Paediatric respiratory conditions – bronchiolitis and croup
  • Transmission precautions
  • Interactive case study.


Chronic Lung Disease

Respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease require lifelong, specialist management. Other chronic respiratory diseases will also be discussed.

  • Defining COPD and looking at stages
  • Asbestosis and carcinoma
  • The physiology of anoxic drive, hypoxic drive and CO2 retention
  • Can I put oxygen on?
  • Long-term management of COPD
  • Medication and lifestyle changes.

1:00pm - Lunch Break and Networking


Lung Trauma and Pneumothorax

Injuries to the respiratory system or surrounding tissues can have implications for respiration, gas exchange and ventilation. Learn about the implication of these injuries, their immediate management and specific interventions, including chest drainage.

  • Penetrating injuries
  • Crush injuries
  • Burns and inhalation burns
  • Foreign bodies
  • Pneumothorax – the physiology of pleural negativity
  • Concepts of chest drainage
  • Immediate management of chest trauma and pneumothorax
  • Interactive case study.

3:30pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


Respiratory Disease?

When are respiratory symptoms not directly caused by respiratory disease? Some neurological or cardiac conditions can have respiratory effects, as can many medicines.

  • Respiratory symptoms due to side effects of medicines.
  • Cardiac conditions with respiratory symptoms
  • Neurological conditions with respiratory effects.


Monitoring and Assessment of Respiratory Conditions

These final interactive sessions will tie the last two days together with assessment tools and techniques.

  • Selection of assessment tools
  • Spirometry concepts
  • Short practical session on respiratory assessment.


Chest X-rays – What Can We See?

  • Interpretation of acute diseases and injuries
  • Other modalities for radiological assessment.

5:00pm - Close of Seminar and Evaluations



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