Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Nursing Best Practice Guidelines

COPD Dyspnea Education/Interventions

2.0 Nurses will be able to implement appropriate nursing interventions for all levels of dyspnea including acute episodes of respiratory distress:

  • Acknowledgement and acceptance of patients’ self-report of present level of dyspnea
  • Medications
  • Controlled oxygen therapy
  • Secretion clearance strategies
  • Non-invasive and invasive ventilation modalities
  • Energy conserving strategies
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Nutritional strategies
  • Breathing retraining strategies

2.1 Nurses must remain with patients during episodes of acute respiratory distress. 2.2 Smoking cessation strategies should be instituted for patients who smoke:

  • Refer to RNAO (2003a) guideline, Integrating Smoking Cessation into Daily Nursing Practice.
  • Use of nicotine replacement and other smoking cessation modalities during hospitalization for acute exacerbation.