Approach to the Respiratory Patient


4 week course (10 hours CPD), starting 5th October 2020


Week 1

Common respiratory disease

  • Lower respiratory tract disease
  • Pleural disorders
  • Pulmonary disease
  • POCUS and sampling
  • Management

Learning outcomes

After completion of this week, participants should be able to:

  • Describe lower respiratory tract physiology and the disease processes seen in practice
  • Understand the different causes of pleural disorders
  • Understand the different causes of pulmonary disease
  • Identify the uses of POCUS and understand which patients may benefit from thoracocentesis
  • Describe how to manage the patient with acute respiratory distress


Week 2

BOAS – From Admit to Discharge

  • Admit considerations
  • BOAS Plan
  • Anaesthesia considerations
  • Dealing with the BOAS crisis
  • Other nursing considerations

Learning outcomes

After completion of this week, participants should be able to:

  • List the considerations which should be discussed with the owner when the patient is admitted to the hospital
  • Discuss safe ways of managing these cases whilst they are hospitalised to minimise complications
  • Understand how to make BOAS patients anaesthesia plans safer
  • Explain the concerns associated with a BOAS crisis and how to manage these
  • Describe other nursing considerations associated with these breeds and how we can factor these into our nursing care plans for hospitalised patients


Week 3

Blood gases

  • Why do we use blood gas analysis?
  • How to take a sample for a blood gas analysis
  • What is Acid/Base?
  • Interpretation of a blood gas report
  • Compensation

Learning outcomes

After completion of this week, participants should be able to:

  • Understand why blood gas analysis is important for managing the respiratory patient
  • Describe how to take a sample for blood gas analysis
  • Understand Acid/Base status and what this means for the patient
  • Interpret a blood gas report using a step by step approach so that this can be transferred to your patients in practice
  • Understand the physiology behind compensatory mechanisms


Week 4

Oxygen Therapy 

  • How to identify a patient in need of oxygen therapy
  • Non-invasive methods of oxygen therapy
  • Invasive methods of oxygen therapy
  • Monitoring a response to therapy

Learning outcomes

After completion of this week, participants should be able to:

  • Understand which parameters are used to identify patients are in need of oxygen therapy
  • Describe which methods of non-invasive oxygen therapy are available and which is the most suitable for their patient
  • Describe which methods of invasive oxygen therapy are available and which is the most suitable for their patient
  • Discuss whether a patient is responding to oxygen therapy and when a decision may be made to discontinue oxygen support


The course will be fully tutored by Elle Haskey and Katie Gray, and will consist of 10 hours of CPD given in various formats, including tutorials, tasks, case studies, forum discussions and quizzes.


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Elle Haskey

BSc(hons), VTS(ECC) VPAC A1, RVN


Eleanor graduated in 2008 from the University of Bristol with an honours degree in Veterinary Nursing and Practice Administration. She worked as a branch head nurse in a mixed practice in the Midlands for 2 years before returning to the University of Bristol as senior ICU nurse, where she was responsible for the day to day running of the intensive care unit, triaging and assessing emergencies and providing care for critical patients. In 2014 Eleanor transferred to the emergency and critical care centre at the Royal Veterinary College.

Eleanor gained the VTS(ECC) qualification in 2012, and she particularly enjoys trauma, seizures, ventilator cases and haematological disorders




Katie Gray



Katie is currently appointed as Senior Emergency and Critical Care Nurse at the Royal Veterinary College where she has been since late 2012. Katie’s favourite cases are those who are critically unwell in ICU, especially septic patients and those on mechanical ventilation. Katie is on the BSAVA Metropolitan Committee organising CPD throughout London and is currently working towards her PG Cert in Veterinary Education at the RVC. In her spare time, Katie enjoys gardening with help from her two spaniels, Flo and Martha, and her rescue cat Hendricks.


This online course is worth 10 hours of CPD.

A certificate will be available from the ‘My Courses’ section, for you to download and print, once you have completed the course.  A permanent record of your total CPD hours will also be recorded in your account section.


Upon purchase you will be registered to attend the course, for 4 weeks from the start date.  The course will consist of various interactive tasks and lessons, including quizzes, case studies, forum discussions and further reading material.

The course is fully tutored, with new material will be provided weekly, but the onus will be on the individual delegate to ensure that all tasks are fully complete.  The certificate will only be issued at the end of the course when all tasks have been accomplished.  Fewer CPD hours will be awarded at the the end of the course if there are unfinished tasks or there has been no contribution to the discussion forum, for example.


The course is fully flexible, and there are no weekly ‘deadlines’ – the lessons and tasks may be completed whenever is convenient for each delegate, and any live lessons with be recorded and made available in that format.   Furthermore, all the course material (excluding the interactive discussion forum) will be available for a further 2 weeks, to allow delegates the opportunity to catch up on missed lessons and tasks, or to take the opportunity to delve further into the suggested reading texts.  Please note however, that the course will not be tutored by the speaker during these final two weeks.


After 6 weeks, all learning material will be cleared from the delegate’s account, so please ensure any important course notes or information is saved to your personal computer before this time.  If you make any personal notes during the course using the ‘take notes’ app, these will be saved, along with your certificate and CPD record for permanent access in ‘My CPD’.