A pulmonary or respiratory care nurse is a nurse who provides medical care and healthcare advice to patients who are suffering from respiratory issues and diseases such as individuals who have asthma or are dealing with lung cancer, atelectasis, bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or tuberculosis.
These nurses assist patients during their treatment and recovery process by providing them with education and advice on how to manage their respiratory issues and how to design a fulfilling yet healthy lifestyle.
When treating patients at a hospital or healthcare center pulmonary care nurses can be found monitoring the patents vital signs, recording the patients health and recovery process, administering medications, checking IV’s, managing respiratory devices such as artificial respirators, facemasks and ventilators and working alongside other medical professionals during patient treatment.
Responsibilities of a pulmonary care nurse:
Monitor the vital signs of patients, maintain medical records and report any abnormalities that may occur during the treatment process
Administer prescribed medication to the patients they are caring for
Start and/or check IV drips
Oversee the management of respiratory devices and ensure they are properly working
Provide additional aide to other medical professionals and communicate any patient care needs to ensure the patient receives proper medical care and attention
Perform other pulmonary care responsibilities as required
Pulmonary care nurses can be found working in a variety of healthcare settings such as in the emergency room, as part of a critical care unit, as part of a progressive care unit, at inpatient care facilities, in the acute care department and in a number of other healthcare settings that may benefit from the help of a certified pulmonary care nurse.
In many cases pulmonary nurses may assist other medical professionals such as nurses, practitioners, doctors and/or physicians and provide them with vital patient information in order to ensure that the operation runs smoothly and the patient receives the proper form of medical treatment and care.
The path towards becoming a pulmonary care nurse is fairly straightforward.
Individuals interested in working as pulmonary care nurses must first complete nursing school at an accredited college or university and earn either their ASN or BSN degree, then complete the NCLEX-RN exam in order to earn their registered nursing license and begin working as a registered nurse (RN).
Note: Many specialized fields of nursing either require or may soon require registered nurses to have their BSN before moving into a specialized field of nursing.
While working in the RN field nurses should gear their training towards pulmonary/respiratory care and take a number of courses/certifications related to pulmonary care.
Those who plan to move into a pulmonary care nursing position must also obtain 1,750 hours of clinical experience working with acute or critically ill patients.
After acquiring the necessary amount of nursing experience and training nurses may then take the certified critical care exam in order to become a certified pulmonary care nurse or certified pulmonary function technetium (CPFT).