Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Nursing Best Practice Guidelines


A nebulizer or compressor is used mostly for small children. No hand-breath coordination is required. Each treatment requires sitting quietly for 20 – 30 minutes while the drug is nebulized from a liquid to a mist. The nebulizer is generally not portable unless you have a 3-way system. The 3-way nebulizer can be plugged into an electrical outlet, has an adaptor for use in a vehicle’s cigarette lighter, and can be battery operated. Both the 3-way machine and the regular nebulizers are expensive and must be serviced regularly. The inhalers, when used properly, are as effective as using a nebulizer. To care for it, wash Mask with hot, soapy water.  Rinse well and allow to air dry before re-use.