Mechanical ventilation is a life-saving treatment for critically ill patients. As ventilators become increasingly sophisticated, the work of clinicians responsible for their management does not necessarily become easier. A new textbook on mechanical ventilation lists 298 mode names on 36 ventilators in the United States alone. In addition, hospitals have several different ventilators, each with multiple options for modes of ventilation. This is a major challenge for ensuring clinical competency from patient admission to discharge.
In the United States, respiratory therapists serve as the experts in mechanical ventilation. However, many other clinicians interact with the patient during their scope of care and therefore need to be trained in ventilation.
Here is a list of disciplines within an organization that can benefit from ventilation training:
- Respiratory Therapists
- Critical Care Physicians
- Emergency Medicine Physicians
- Nurses (ICU, ER)
- Nurse Anesthetists
- Nurse Practitioners
- EMT/ Paramedics
- Physician Assistants
Due to the number of clinicians who interact with a patient during their scope of care, ventilation training needs to cover a wide range of scenarios including: airway management, non-invasive ventilation, initiation of mechanical ventilation and how to properly ventilate apneic or spontaneously breathing patients with differing disease states and evolving patient conditions.
Here are a few main topics that should be covered in ventilation training:
- Patient-Ventilator Interactions (patient-ventilator synchrony issues)
- Ventilator Adjustments (Spontaneous Breathing Trials)
- Ventilator Maneuvers (Finding optimal PEEP)
- Types/ Modes of Ventilation (NIV, APRV, PAV, ASV, PRVC, etc.)
- Patient Assessments (Hemodynamics)
- Patient Conditions (ARDS, COPD, Asthma, etc.)
Please review our End Users and Training Applications resource.
Typically, ventilation training is accomplished through textbooks and classroom discussion. Simulation may be integrated, but is usually less effective when using a standard test lung with limited functionality and realism. However, with the right equipment, simulation has the potential to be the most effective course of action to standardize and improve ventilation training.
- Structured, repeatable simulations
- Deliberate practice and experiential learning with mistakes
- Customized, appropriately challenging training
- Low frequency, high risk patient scenarios
- Hands-on teamwork and communication practice
- No risk to patients
To accomplish the most high-fidelity ventilation simulations, we recommend a lung that simulates patient-ventilator interactions indistinguishable from a real patient, such as the ASL 5000™ Breathing Simulator. With this kind of realism, training can be expanded to include simulations of the following patient-ventilator interactions:
- Highly realistic ventilator waveforms
- Relevant and timely ventilator alarms
- Both synchronous and dysynchronous patients
- Spontaneous Breathing Trials
- Non-invasive ventilation
- Impact of evolving patient conditions
Please review our ASL 5000 Patient-Ventilator Interactions web page.
If you are interested in learning more about how the ASL 5000 can enhance your respiratory training, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.