There has developed an increased need for ventilator management in skilled nursing facility. Some patients need to use a ventilator for a short period of time, while others use ventilator services on a long-term basis. As more patients need ventilator care, several new conditions and positions are necessary to meet this increased need. Respiratory therapists and pulmonary specialists are needed to oversee patient care. In addition, new regulations and guidelines are needed to guarantee that patients’ needs are met. Finally, stringent documentation is needed to demonstrate progress and show any changes that are needed in ventilator care.
Qualified medical professionals are needed to administer ventilator management in a skilled nursing facility. These qualified professionals include respiratory therapists, pulminologists (or respiratory doctors), and trained nurses. Respiratory therapists are a necessity and must be onsite at all times to dispense medication through ventilation, oversee life support systems, and provide respiratory interventions when necessary. Respiratory therapists are specially trained and have specific skills, which are necessary in operating a ventilator. Pulmonologists must be involved in respirator patients’ treatment, as they are able to prescribe the most accurate and specific medication and medical treatment for patients that are on a ventilator. In addition, the nurses that will be involved in respiratory patients’ care must be specially trained in ventilator management, as they will be the most frequent point of contact for any patient using a ventilator.
New regulations and guidelines to govern the care of patients who use a ventilator must be followed to insure the best care for each and every patient. Standards for ventilator management in a skilled nursing facility include the admission criteria, assessment of ventilation and oxygenation needs, emergency and life support guidelines, and back-up requirements. These regulations are intended to provide the best care for every patient that requires ventilator assistance. Other regulations govern the emergency alarms that ventilators use, transfer to emergency care facilities, and protocol in the event of a power outage. These guidelines not only assure that the medical needs of each patient are met, but also provide guidelines in the event of an emergency situation.
Each skilled nursing facility must stringently document the patient’s progress and care when using a ventilator. This documentation includes patient’s progress, any abnormalities, side effects, or other symptoms that the patient experiences when using a ventilator. The documentation is used by medical doctors to prescribe treatment options, by respiratory therapists in dispensing medication and other treatments, and by other skilled nursing staff when following a patient’s progress and making decisions for the patient.
Ventilator management in a skilled nursing facility is a detailed process that involves a team of dedicated professionals, including respiratory therapists, pulminologists, and trained nursing staff. There are strict regulations and guidelines that must be followed to protect the patient and assure the best care is provided. Stringent documentation must also be kept to show a patient’s progress, any abnormalities, and to guide future decisions. Whether the patient uses a ventilator for the short or long term, following these protocols assures that the highest quality respiratory care is given to every patient who has need of ventilator services.