Mechanical Ventilation

1871 Words Sep 25th, 2011 8 Pages
Running head: ACCOUNTABILITY OF NURSING PROFESSIONALS: WEANING

Accountability of Nursing Professionals: Weaning from Mechanical Ventilation
Samantha Madrid
Grand Canyon University

Abstract
This paper will discuss the weaning of patients off of a mechanical ventilator. It will look at the problems associated with prolonged intubation vs. premature extubation, and what healthcare professionals can do to assess a patients readiness to begin the weaning process. A patient care scenario will be given and an explanation of how nursing practice can evolve with the knowledge from this study will be shown. The accountability of the nursing professional in regards to mechanical ventilation will be visited as well.
Accountability of Nursing
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The nurse should assume responsibility and accountability for their patient’s health. This requires the nurse to research ways to assist a patient off ventilation, collaborate with physicians, and be aware of the patient’s condition and readiness to wean.
“For some investigators, ‘weaning success’ is defined as sustained spontaneous, unassisted breathing with or without an artificial airway, and for others it is defined as sustained extubation” (Cook 2000). Whatever the nurse and physician see as the definition to weaning is far less important than ensuring their patient is weaned at the correct time. Allowing a patient to remain intubated and on mechanical ventilation when it is no longer needed, only puts the patient at risk for problems beyond the reason for initial intubation.
Nurses should frequently monitor signs of a patient that is able to take spontaneous breaths. Assessing levels of anxiety and diaphoresis along with frequent monitoring of vital signs can signal to the nurse that the patient may no longer need the amount of assistance he is currently receiving. The nurse may begin to wean the patient by decreasing the amount in mechanical support, in a slow and gradual manner.
The study shows the decrease in mechanical support can be effected by increasing periods of unassisted breathing, alternating unassisted breaths with mechanical breaths, and reduction of the support delivered
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