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Digital Seminar

Respiratory Distress: Assess and Respond with Skill and Confidence

Timothy R. Martindale, MS, RN, RRT
4 Hours 32 Minutes
Audio and Video
Apr 17, 2020
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar - Also available: DVD


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 training course 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.


Planning Committee Disclosure - No relevant relationships

All members of the PESI, Inc. planning committee have provided disclosures of financial relationships with ineligible organizations and any relevant non-financial relationships prior to planning content for this activity. None of the committee members had relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies or other potentially biasing relationships to disclose to learners.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.

* Credit Note - **

NOTE: Tuition includes one free CE Certificate (participant will be able to print the certificate of completion after passing the online post-test (80% passing score) and completing the evaluation). Instructional methods will include PowerPoint, didactic lecture, and others.

Continuing Education Information:  Listed below are the continuing education credit(s) currently available for this non-interactive self-study package. Program content is reviewed periodically per accrediting board rules for currency and appropriateness for credit. Credit approvals are subject to change. Please note, your state licensing board dictates whether self-study is an acceptable form of continuing education, as well as which credit types are acceptable for continuing education hours. 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 purchase.

Materials that are included in this course may include interventions and modalities that are beyond the authorized practice of your profession.  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 profession's standards.  

For Planning Committee disclosures, please see the statement above.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.

Nurses - California Nurses

PESI, Inc. is a provider approved by the California Board of  Registered Nursing, Provider #: 17118 for 5.0 self-study contact hours. 

** You will need to provide your license number to PESI. PESI must have this number on file in order for your hours to be valid.

Nurses - Florida Nurses

PESI, Inc. is an approved provider by the Florida Board of  Nursing. Provider #: FBN2858. These materials qualify for 5.0 self-study contact hours.

CE Broker

Nurses - Iowa Nurses

PESI, Inc. is an approved provider by the Iowa Board of Nursing. Provider #: 346. Nurses successfully completing these self-study materials will earn 5.0 self-study contact hours. Please email with your license number, include the title, speaker name and date. PESI must have this number on file in order for your hours to be valid.

Physicians Assistants - 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 5.0 hours for completing this self-study program. This activity was originally recorded on 04/17/2020. It was last reviewed on 01/19/2023 and is valid until 01/18/2026


PESI, Inc. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. PESI, Inc. designates this enduring material for a maximum of 5.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.

Other Professions

This self-study activity qualifies for 5.0 continuing education clock hours 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, MS, RN, RRT's Profile

Timothy R. Martindale, MS, RN, RRT Related seminars and products

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 Health Carousel. He receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Timothy Martindale has no relevant non-financial relationships.

Additional Info

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


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  1. Evaluate 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. Apply 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!



Overall:      5

Total Reviews: 1


Angela L

"Very good presentation. Very knowledgeable. Good personal stories woven in to the Content. "

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