Critical Thinking in Oxygen Therapies

Oxygen therapies are a necessary part of many medical treatment regimens. The wide array of both acute and chronic disease states and conditions managed, either directly or indirectly, with this valuable medication are seen in every single type of care setting. As both medical and nursing based research have provided evidence of best practices with oxygen therapy, treatment has evolved. The evolution has resulted in extended use of oxygen therapies far beyond the acute care setting into the realms of post-acute and home care via many more types of delivery devices and management protocols. As part of the collaborative care team providing care for patients requiring oxygen therapy, nurses must maintain competency to ensure compliance with care standards. This course serves as a review of theory and nursing actions as well as a competency assessment to promote use of critical thinking in managing a patient requiring oxygen therapy.

A Link-it Course©  
A Link-it course is a critical thinking course. The most meaningful learning occurs when connections are made using analytical thought processes.  The Link-it symbol will link associations between theory and nursing action rationales.

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Upon completion of this course, the participant will be able to:

  1. Define oxygen and its purpose in maintaining homeostasis using critical thinking.
  2. Explain the relationship between oxygen status and systemic oxygenation and perfusion.
  3. State the oxygen percentages provided by various oxygen delivery devices.
  4. Identify signs and symptoms indicating hypoxia in  a patient which may indicate decompensation.
  5. Name the steps necessary in initiation, maintenance, titration and discontinuation of oxygen therapy.


Chapter 1: Respiratory System Overview   

  • Oxygen and homeostasis
    • Oxygen inspiration and delivery
    • Hindrances to oxygen inspiration and delivery
  • Anatomy and physiology review
  • Upper respiratory system
    • Lower respiratory system
    • Critical thinking related to the occurrence of hypoxemia
Chapter 2: Respiratory System Assessment 
  • Inspection
  • Palpation
  • Auscultation
  • Common nursing diagnoses and respiratory dysfunction
  • Common problem lists and respiratory dysfunction
Chapter 3: Oxygen Delivery Devices and Nursing Care
  • Low flow devices and nursing considerations
    • Nasal cannula
    • Simple oxygen mask
    • Partial rebreather mask
    • Non-rebreather mask
  • High flow devices and nursing considerations
    • Venturi mask
    • Oxygen tents and hoods
    • Aerosol mask
Chapter 4: Oxygen Administration Protocols     
  • Titration and weaning
  • Post oxygen discontinuation assessment
  • Patient education
  • Oxygen toxicity
Chapter 5: Special Situations - Non-invasive and Invasive Mechanical Ventilation
Chapter 6: Competency Assessment
  • California Bill 241
  • Implicit Bias in Healthcare
  • What is Implicit Bias?
  • Implications of Implicit Bias in Healthcare
  • How to Reduce Implicit Bias

Price: $40.00

Contact Hours: 4

Course Author

Patricia Schmehl

Pat originally graduated from a diploma program and later went on to earn her BSN and MSN and now her DNP while continuing to practice critical care nursing. Currently she is a faculty member in the ADN program at Reading Area Community College in reading Pennsylvania. She is the author of a newly published book (Jones and Bartlett): Introduction to Concept Mapping: Critical Thinking in Action.

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