Pulse oximetry Resources

21 December 2016

In the course of their work, community nurses may often come across patients being treated with oxygen therapy for long-term conditions. This article examines the knowledge that community nurses need to provide effective evidence-based care, particularly referencing the British Thoracic Society (BTS) guidelines as well as how referral to specialist respiratory/oxygen teams can sometimes be the best option. The author also considers the potential benefits of providing community teams with pulse oximeters and how this would support them in assessing patients who might require oxygen therapy, identify at-risk patients and support clinical decision-making, particularly with referrals into specialist services.

04 November 2016

Respiration is vital for life and understanding how to assess patients' respiration and the different types of respiratory rate is a vital skill for all community nurses. Respiration rate is one of the four vital signs and should not be ignored when assessing a patient. This article explains the different types of respiration; provides clear guidance on how to assess respiration, and explores some of the causes of abnormal respiratory patterns and how they can be managed.

Topics:  Pulse oximetry
18 August 2015

Community nurses often have people with chronic respiratory disease on their caseloads and among the vital skills needed to manage this group is the measurement of resting oxygen saturation by pulse oximetry, which can help the nurse decide whether or not to refer the patient onto a specialist oxygen service for assessment. Many elderly patients also have a diagnosis of chronic lung disease and will be receiving long-term oxygen therapy. Pulse oximetry is helpful in assessing whether the prescribed oxygen flow rate is correct for the individual — this may change over time if the patient’s condition deteriorates. This article examines the latest techniques and equipment in home oxygen therapy and the author pays particular attention to pulse oximeters, which are an affordable clinical assessment tool and can easily be added to the equipment already used by community nurses.

Topics:  Pulse oximetry