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When a patient is intubated, mechanical ventilation is often necessary. As the patient's condition improves, much of his care is directed toward "weaning" him from the mechanical ventilator. Generally, once the patient has demonstrated the ability to sustain unassisted breathing and maintain a patent airway, he can be extubated.

The professional's skills in assessing the patient's clinical status, implementing the weaning process and providing care during and after extubation are essential. Throughout the patient's care it is important to remember that the inability to ventilate can be a life-threatening as well as a frightening experience for the patient. In addition to physiologic problems, frustration, and depression may adversely affect the weaning process.

This program will define basic methods for weaning, discuss parameters that indicate a readiness for weaning, discuss the procedure for extubation, and identify potential complications associated with weaning and extubation.

To complete this course, you must do the following:

  • Read the Overview and Course Objectives.
  • Study the Terminology.
  • Read the course material.
  • Complete the Learning Activity.
  • Complete the Post Test with a score of 80% or more.

    The material is organized around the following categories:

  • Introduction
  • Weaning Methods
  • The Conventional Method
  • Intermittent Mandatory Ventilation
  • Synchronized Mandatory Ventilation
  • Assessment Prior to the Weaning Process
  • Weaning
  • Extubation
  • Post-extubation Complications
  • Conclusion

    The purpose of this program is to provide nurses an understanding of the indications and procedures for weaning a patient off mechanical ventilation, and the possible complications.

    After completing this course, the learner should be able to:

  • Obtain and discuss the significance of the parameters necessary to determine the physiologic readiness of the patient for weaning.
  • Perform bedside pulmonary function testing to evaluate the patient's mechanical ability to sustain spontaneous breathing.
  • Discuss the significance of each bedside pulmonary function test and the clinical value to obtain prior to weaning.
  • Describe the parameters to be routinely monitored while the patient is being weaned.
  • Discuss the general guidelines that may be used as criteria for discontinuing the wean.
  • Demonstrate the technique for removal of the endotracheal tube.
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    Weaning and Extubation Online course
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