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Follow the links below to find material targeted to the unit's elements, performance criteria, required skills and knowledge

Elements and Performance Criteria

  1. Elements define the essential outcomes
  2. Contribute to the interdisciplinary health care team in caring a person with respiratory impairment
  3. Assist a person in maintaining optimal respiratory health
  4. Actively promote improvement and advancement of respiratory nursing care

Performance Evidence

The candidate must show evidence of the ability to complete tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage tasks and manage contingencies in the context of the job role. There must be evidence that the candidate has:

undertaken nursing work in accordance with Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia professional practice standards, codes and guidelines

performed the following nursing care interventions on no fewer than 3 people in a respiratory care setting in the workplace:

care of an arterial line

positive airway pressure (CPAP) and bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP)

care of permanent and temporary mechanical ventilation including suctioning and bagging

tracheal suction via an endotracheal tube (ETT)

assisted with the insertion or removal of pleural and intercostal drains

administered oxygen based on interpretation of oximetry readings or blood gas analysis in consultation with registered nurse

in undertaking the above, use advanced communication skills and medical terminology to communicate effectively with the person, family or carer, and the registered nurse and other health professionals to record or report the person’s outcomes.

Knowledge Evidence

The candidate must be able to demonstrate essential knowledge required to effectively complete tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage tasks and manage contingencies in the context of the work role. This includes knowledge of:

respiratory anatomy, physiology and pathology, sufficiently in-depth and specialised to make considered judgements and to make a professional contribution to respiratory nursing care

respiratory conditions including:

acute respiratory distress syndrome


bronchitis, bronchiolitis, bronchiectasis (acute and chronic)

chronic obstructive airway disease

cystic fibrosis



lung cancer

pulmonary oedema


pulmonary Embolism (PE)


sleep Apnoea

tuberculosis (TB)

actual and potential problems from respiratory conditions including:




inability to clear secretions

inability to cough

inability to protect airway

respiratory failure

shortness of breath

potential nursing interventions related to respiratory conditions including:

administration of non-invasive ventilation, CPAP and BiPAP

assisting with insertion and removal of pleural drains

care of an arterial line and interpretation of blood gas analysis

care of a person with a tracheostomy

tracheostomy dressing

tracheal suction via an endotracheal tube (ETT) or tracheostomy

interpreting the results of oximetry readings

respiratory assessment:

chest auscultation


pulse oximetry

respiratory rate

pulse rate

blood pressure

sedation score

past medical history

accessory muscles in use when breathing

degree of shortness of breath (SOB)

interpreting results of spirometry testing

surgical procedures for respiratory conditions.