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Spirometry for HCAs

course information

This course is specifically aimed at HCAs. Spirometry is the most common of the pulmonary function tests (PFTs), measuring lung function, specifically the amount (volume) and/or speed (flow) of air that can be inhaled and exhaled. Spirometry is an important tool used for generating pneumotachographs, which are helpful in assessing conditions such as asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, and COPD.

This course will provide an overview of the key elements of patient preparation and safety and the importance of accuracy and reproducibility and testing. This is a very practical course encouraging interactive discussion and implementation of this skill within the HCA role. We will cover problems encountered during testing such as coughs and slow starts. The course will cover the role of the HCA in relation to assisting the nurse, but does not include interpretation, which is the responsibility of the nurse.

aims and objectives

  • To understand applied anatomy and physiology relating to respiration and respiratory disease

  • To understand the terms relating to lung function

  • To understand the indications and limitations of spirometry

  • To understand the requirements for care and maintenance of equipment including infection control measures where appropriate

  • To gain confidence in the performance of spirometry

course contents

  • Overview of the respiratory system

  • Principles of measurement

  • Quality control

  • Contraindications to testing

  • Preparation and performance of the test

  • Acceptable criteria

  • Potential errors

  • Prevention of cross contamination

  • Use of bronchodilators

  • Anatomy and physiology

  • Respiratory disease

  • Lung function

  • COPD/Asthma-Lung disease

  • Spirometry Practice

  • Competency development

who should attend?

  • HCAs

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