Atracheostomy patient should be checked on frequently, with the frequency of checks based on the patient’s condition and individual needs. Generally, the patient should be checked at least every 4 hours, or more frequently as needed with nurse availability between these hours. Each State’s Nursing Practice Act will likely have guidelines that can be helpful since some services are best not delegated to non-nurse personnel.
A skilled nursing home has the advantage of nurses always on duty regardless of patient need. In smaller venues, nurses must be engaged as often as necessary to ensure medical stability.
During these checks, the nurse or healthcare provider should assess the tracheostomy site, monitor vital signs, evaluate the patient’s level of consciousness, and assess their breathing. Any changes in the patient’s condition, such as increased respiratory distress or changes in vital signs, should be reported immediately to the physician and/or respiratory therapist.
In addition, the tracheostomy tube should be suctioned as needed to maintain a clear airway and prevent blockages. Proper hygiene of the tracheostomy site and tube is also essential to prevent infection.
It’s important to note that the frequency of checks may need to be increased if the patient is experiencing complications or has a high risk for complications. The healthcare team should work together to determine the appropriate frequency of checks for each individual patient.