Nurses are hard-working and highly-skilled professionals within the medical community that provide direct, hands-on patient care as prescribed by medical providers. Being able to provide more hands-on care results in an important nurse-patient relationship that may greatly determine the effectiveness of the care provided. Nurses care for others in the most vulnerable of times, and being able to create a positive impression may prove to leave a huge impact on many lives, which is why this profession is so rewarding. Nurses work in various settings to carry out orders from medical providers…from school clinics, to the doctor’s office, to providing direct care in patient homes, to the hospital, to the hospice setting, and more!
Oxygen Therapy & the Nurses Role
Nurses are expected to perform various tasks during their career, while continuing to advance their knowledge base and adapt to new practices as they go. Oxygen therapy is something that many, many patients rely on with progression of their conditions over time. In the hospital setting, most generally respiratory therapists are the ones that carry out all orders pertaining to oxygen therapy. However, not all patients have this luxury, so all nurses should have the knowledge and skills of how to carry out oxygen therapy if the need ever arises.
Use of oxygen concentrators is an example of how a patient condition may be treated if the condition is compromising the amount of oxygen in their blood. An oxygen concentrator is a medical device that is used to deliver oxygen that is needed in order for the patient to better function on a daily basis. In order to begin use of a concentrator, a prescription will be needed because they cannot be purchased over the counter at the convenience of a patient. Oxygen concentrators are powered by plugging them into an electrical outlet or by a battery if the electric was to go out. The good news is that the air supply will NEVER run out!
Oxygen Concentrator Usage
An oxygen concentrator works by taking in air from the environment, modifying it, compressing it, and then delivering it to the patient as an improved form to provide them with the most optimal amount of oxygen available. The role of nurses in this process is to monitor the oxygen saturation of the patients, their work of breathing, and ensure that each patient is receiving the correct amount of liters of oxygen per min. For example, the physician may prescribe a patient to receive 2 liters of oxygen per minute from the concentrator by wearing a nasal cannula. Therefore, the nurse just needs to make sure the concentrator was correctly set on 2 liters for the best patient results.
Nurses also will be attentive to any negative changes in the patient that would possibly require adjustments to their oxygen therapy treatment. The nurses are the ones that spend the majority of the time with the patient to monitor for changes in their condition. The physician depends greatly on assessments completed by nurses in order to best direct their care. Oxygen therapy can be a meticulous treatment, especially if your patient has a condition such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). COPD is a condition that requires only a certain amount of oxygen…you may not think so, but too much oxygen in someone with COPD can have negative effects and worsen their condition. This is why nurses have a great knowledge base and can be trusted with no doubts when caring for you during your treatment with oxygen therapy.
Oxygen concentrators may look intimidating and cause patient frustration, which is why nurses will continuously advocate for patients and provide them with ongoing education so that they can maintain their optimal condition. Promotion of patient health and prevention of future complications is a big deal in today’s medical world and nurses strive to do this on a daily basis with their patients. Providing oxygen therapy with oxygen concentrators is just one of many ways this is done! Thank your nurse today for all their hard work and dedication the next chance you get.