End-Tidal CO2 Monitoring & Interpretation

This course is designed for nurse clinicians that care for ventilated patients in the ICU, emergency medicine, or post-anesthesia care unit setting. End-tidal CO2 monitoring is a method of measuring a patient’s ventilation and can also give cues into cardiac status. Although end-tidal C02 monitoring has long been used in the operating room for ventilated patients, it is quickly becoming a highly used monitor in intensive care unit, post-anesthesia care unit, and other nursing areas (Bauman & Cosgrove, 2012). Another name for end-tidal monitoring is waveform capnography. This e-learning course will examine the science behind ETCO2 monitoring, the types of devices used to monitor ETCO2 and how ETCO2 can guide a nurse’s assessments and decision-making. Through gaining a fuller understanding of ETCO2 monitoring, nursing can enhance patient safety (Bauman & Cosgrove, 2012).

The purpose of this course is to educate nurses on the use of end-tidal CO2 monitoring, interpretation, and application in real-world healthcare settings.

Questions? Check out our FAQs page and How Online IV Certification Works!


Upon completion of this course participants will be able to:

  1. Describe why ETCO2 monitoring is a reflection of ventilation and perfusion.
  2. Explain the types of monitors available to measure ETCO2.
  3. List the uses for ETCO2 monitoring in the ventilated patient.
  4. State the uses of ETCO2 monitoring in the spontaneously breathing patient.
  5. Discuss the capnogram and what it means in each phase.


Chapter 1: Outline and Introduction

  • Overview of ETCO2 Monitoring
  • The Science Behind ETCO2 Monitoring

Chapter 2: Types of Monitors

  • Sidestream
  • Mainstream
  • Microstream

Chapter 3: Uses in the Ventilated Patient

  • Endotracheal Tube Placement Verification
  • Monitoring Endotracheal Tube Placement in Patient Transport
  • Confirming CPR Effectiveness and ROSC
  • Monitoring Intracranial Pressure in the Trauma Patient

Chapter 4: Uses in the Non-Ventilated Patient

  • Assessing the Respiratory and Perfusion Status of Critically Ill Patients
  • Use During Procedural Sedation

Chapter 5: Interpreting ETCO2 Waveforms

  • Four Phases of a Capnogram
  • Five-Step Waveform Interpretation
  • Troubleshooting Tips and Capnography Limitations

Chapter 6: Conclusion

  • Case Scenarios
  • References
  • California Bill 241
  • Implicit Bias in Healthcare
  • What is Implicit Bias?
  • Implications of Implicit Bias in Healthcare
  • How to Reduce Implicit Bias

Price: $12.00

Contact Hour: 1

Course Author


HTRSD is a provider of continuing education training focused on human trafficking and other social disparities for health care providers, as well as courses that address nurses' health and well-being and under-served topics in advanced critical care.

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