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Spirometry for Nurses

course information

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. Spirometry is only useful as a screening technique where uniformity and quality of practice exist.

Without a thorough understanding of the principles involved, the methodology, the effects of the disease on lung function and the interpretation of results, it is difficult for practitioners to be confident and competent in practice. You will learn about spirometry and respiratory conditions and how to manage these conditions appropriately and we will include national guidelines. We will discuss appropriate pharmacological and

non-pharmacological treatment options. We will also discuss the psychological aspects of COPD and restrictive respiratory disease and management, patient self-management strategies and how to equip patients with the knowledge and confidence to recognise their symptoms. This course will give the attendees a comprehensive understanding of how to do this.

aims and objectives

  • To understand how to use spirometry equipment

  • Spirometry technique

  • Identification of common problems

  • What does a spirometer measure

  • Normal and abnormal spirometry

  • The flow and volume trace

  • Technique

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

  • To gain confidence in the performance of spirometry

  • Provide continuing professional development in spirometry

  • To provide the knowledge to perform at national standards

course contents

  • Principles of measurement

  • Quality control

  • Contraindications to testing

  • Infection Control

  • Preparation and performance of the test-how to do it practical

  • Acceptable criteria

  • Spirometry technique

  • Identification of common problems

  • What does a spirometer measure

  • Normal and abnormal Spirometry

  • The flow and volume trace

  • Technique

  • National standards and guidelines

  • Inhalers and reversibility

  • Advice to patients

  • How to resolve problems

  • Practical

  • When not to perform spirometry

  • Who can perform the tests

  • Patient selection and criteria

  • Indications for spirometry testing

  • Errors in recording

who should attend?

  • Practice Nurses

  • Specialist Nurses

  • Respiratory Nurses

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