As an in-home nurse for children, you will work with patients with a variety of health needs. Those with respiratory conditions may require machines to assist with their breathing. A BiPap®, bilevel positive airway pressure, device is a ventilator that some children use to help with breathing. If you’re a pediatric nurse, here’s what you should know.
What Pediatric Nurses Should Know About BiPap® Therapy
What Is BiPap Therapy?
BiPap devices help move air into the lungs when the body is unable to do so easily. While using the machine, the child will wear a mask or a set of nasal plugs. The device will administer air pressure when they breathe in and out, increasing the pressure on the inhale. This difference in pressure makes the BiPap unlike a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine, as the latter keeps the same amount of air pressure on the inhale and exhale.
Who Can Benefit From BiPap?
If one of your patients has obstructive sleep apnea, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), asthma, and pneumonia, they may use this device. Some children will need to use the machine after a surgical procedure that temporarily impairs their breathing. As a pediatric nurse, you should check in with the child’s doctor about how often they should use the device.
How Do You Use the Device?
Many children will need to use their BiPap machine at night, but this can vary depending on the patient’s condition. Pediatric nurses might need to secure the BiPap machine throughout the day, as well.
Before turning on the machine, place the mask or nasal plugs onto the child. Explain that you will put the mask on them and tell them that the mask will help them breathe. It will generally take time for a child to get used to the BiPap mask and the sensation of the air, so start slowly. Turn on the machine for just a few seconds so they can feel the air. Gradually increase this time increment until they are comfortable enough to use the machine throughout the night. If you have any questions about the device, reach out to the child’s doctor.
If you are interested in making a difference in a child’s life as a pediatric nurse, you can find a fulfilling career with J&D Ultracare. Based in Suffern, NY, we are the only nurse staffing agency in the Hudson Valley that focuses on pediatric care. We are invested in our employees and offer quality placements and continuous support. Our employees will enjoy field-based orientations, educational opportunities, medical benefits, and retirement benefits. If you are interested in starting your career as an in-home nurse, visit us online to view our current job openings. Call (845) 357-4500 to speak with a member of our staff.