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Respiratory Distress: Assess and Respond with Skill and Confidence

Timothy R. Martindale
Full Day
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Live Webcast - Also available: Digital Seminar


Respiratory failure leads to respiratory distress, which leads to panic for both the patient and the clinical staff. You only have minutes to act, and failure to act can lead to poor patient outcomes. Learn the must-have skills to confidently respond to your deteriorating patients.

Have you ever been at a loss to explain your patient’s respiratory symptoms and what they mean? Are they typical of the patient’s chronic condition, or a sign of a new, acute stage or problem? Why is your patient’s diagnosis not supported by presenting symptoms or lab results? Could these be red flags of a rapidly deteriorating condition that needs your ability to intervene – and quickly?

Having a deeper understanding of the cardio-pulmonary relationship can lead to more appropriate and timely treatments, which ultimately will drive better patient outcomes. Knowing whether respiratory failure is the result of an oxygen problem or a carbon dioxide problem is a critical piece. This intense live webcast will provide new clinical insights and critical thinking skills, so you won’t need to feel uncertain, scared, or at risk anymore. You will leave with a clear algorithm for assessment, a means to dissect ventilation/perfusion inequalities, and a thorough knowledge of the best treatment modalities.



NOTE: Tuition includes one free CE Certificate (participant will be able to print the certificate of completion after completing and passing the on-line post-test evaluation). 

Continuing Education Information: Listed below are the continuing education credit(s) currently available for this live interactive webcast. This webcast is a broadcast of a live event. You will be able to type questions to the speaker. The speaker will see the questions and address them during the presentation as time allows. Please note, your state licensing board dictates whether web based activities are an acceptable form of continuing education. Please refer to your state rules and regulations. If your profession is not listed, please contact your licensing board to determine your continuing education requirements and check for reciprocal approval. For other credit inquiries not specified below, please contact or 800-844-8260 before the event.

Materials that are included in this course may include interventions and modalities that are beyond the authorized practice of mental health professionals.  As a licensed professional, you are responsible for reviewing the scope of practice, including activities that are defined in law as beyond the boundaries of practice in accordance with and in compliance with your professions standards.

CE Information is based on 100% attendance.

Information obtained in this course should be used within your scope of practice.

Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, and Clinical Nurse Specialists

PESI, Inc. is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

Nurses in full attendance will earn 6.3 contact hours.

California Nurses

PESI, Inc. is a provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number 17118 for 6.0 contact hours. Full attendance is required. No partial contact hours will be issued for partial attendance. 

Florida Nurses

CE Broker

PESI, Inc. is an approved provider with the Florida Board of Nursing, Provider # FBN2858. This course qualifies for 6.0 contact hours. 

Iowa Nurses

PESI, Inc. is an approved provider by the Iowa Board of Nursing. Provider #: 346. Full attendance at this activity qualifies for 6.3 contact hours. Full attendance in the activity is required; no partial contact hours will be issued for partial attendance. These contact hours are used for your license renewal. Please email with your license number, include the webcast title, speaker name and date. PESI must have this number on file in order for your hours to be valid for the webcast.

Physician Assistants

AAPA accepts certificates of participation for educational activities certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ from organizations accredited by ACCME such as PESI. Physician assistants may receive a maximum of 6.0 hours for completing this program.

PESI, Inc. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. PESI, Inc. designates this activity for a maximum of 6.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.

Respiratory Care Practitioners

This program has been approved for 6.33 contact hours Continuing Respiratory Care Education (CRCE) credit by the American Association for Respiratory Care, 9425 N. MacArthur Blvd. Suite 100 Irving TX 75063. Course #182819000 . Full attendance is required to receive a certificate of successful completion. You will need to provide your AARC Member Number to PESI

Other Professions

This activity qualifies for 380 continuing education minutes as required by many national, state and local licensing boards and professional organizations. Save your activity advertisement and certificate of completion, and contact your own board or organization for specific requirements. 


Timothy R. Martindale Related seminars and products: 1


Tim Martindale, MS, RN, RRT, has spent over 38 years working in healthcare in a variety of clinical settings, including respiratory therapy, critical care, med/surg, and long-term care. He has taught nurses, respiratory therapists, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants in various situations, including numerous classes on respiratory, cardiac, and critical care. Tim has particularly enjoyed presenting for the Critical Care Consortium and as an invited guest for the National Healthcare Corporation conference.

Additionally, Tim has authored a book entitled Respiratory Therapy for Nurses and has produced a series of learning videos for healthcare professionals.

Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Timothy Martindale has an employment relationship with North Knoxville Medical Center. He receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Non-financial: Timothy Martindale has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose.

Additional Info

Program Information


Click here to purchase the DVD or CD recording from our product store. CE hours and approvals on products may differ from live CE approvals.

Additional Resources

To order the book, Fast Facts Workbook for Cardiac Dysrhythmias and 12-Lead EKGs​, please visit our product store.

To order the book, RNotes®: Nurse’s Clinical Pocket Guide, 5th Edition​, please visit our product store.

Access Period for Live Webcast

For live CE credit, you must watch the live webcast in its entirety at its scheduled time and complete the CE quiz and evaluation within one week. You will have access for 90 days after the program for review.

Webcast Schedule

Please note: There will be a lunch and two 15-minute breaks; one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Lunch and break times will be announced by the speaker and at their discretion. A more detailed schedule is available upon request.


  1. Explain the types of ventilation/perfusion inequalities and how to treat them.
  2. Differentiate between lung-based vs cardiac-based disease.
  3. Evaluate the presentation differences between obstructive and restrictive lung diseases.
  4. Distinguish between shunt effect and dead-space effect.
  5. Choose the type of assessment techniques that are best to learn quickly about the deteriorating patient’s condition.
  6. Select the best treatment modalities to optimize outcomes for a patient in crisis.


Respiratory Failure: Quickly Identify and Distinguish
  • Is it an oxygenation or a ventilation problem?
  • Why does it matter?
Best Approaches to Differentiate Cardiac and Pulmonary Symptoms
  • Advanced understanding of breath sounds
  • X-rays don’t tell the whole story
  • Not all edema is visible
  • Evaluating the patient’s response to therapy
Confidently Assess Respiratory Disease
  • Dig deeper into ABG interpretation
  • Tips to focus on one system at a time
  • Treatment strategies to begin as you assess
Transition the Patient from Crisis to Stable
  • Solutions to calm the panic-stricken patient
  • When lab results don’t correlate with the presentation
  • WHY is the patient presenting the way they are?
Stair-step Strategy to Determine Treatment
  • What about bronchodilators?
  • Oxygen is a drug – how to optimize oxygen delivery
  • When oxygen therapy isn’t enough – positive pressure ventilation vs mechanical ventilation
Mistakes YOU Can Prevent
  • Misinterpretation of obstructive vs restrictive disease – or both?
  • All that wheezes may not be respiratory
  • Improper treatment modalities – start simple and work up
  • Missed clues from an urgent situation – know when to call in reinforcements

Target Audience

  • RNs, RTs, NPs, and PAs from:
    • Medical-Surgical floors
    • Cardiology
    • Neurology
    • Critical Care
    • Emergency
    • Urgent Care
    • Skilled Nursing Facilities
  • Anyone desiring next level skills to proactively assess and intervene in the care of the patient experiencing respiratory distress!


Satisfaction Guarantee
Your satisfaction is our goal and our guarantee. Concerns should be addressed to: PO Box 1000, Eau Claire, WI 54702-1000 or call 1-800-844-8260.

ADA Needs

We would be happy to accommodate your ADA needs; please call our Customer Service Department for more information at 1-800-844-8260.

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