FAQs and resources on key areas of respiratory physiotherapy practice in relation to the coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic.
CSP members who have not worked in respiratory care for some time must be mindful that they have a professional responsibility to identify any training needs they may have before undertaking work in this area. NHS organizations are providing rapid induction and training and in addition the online resources on this page may be useful to develop or refresh your knowledge and skills. These online resources will be useful to help you to develop or refresh your knowledge and skills to work with COVID-19 patients.
If you are unhappy with your level of competence or capability to move in to a respiratory roles, you should raise your concerns with your line manager as per normal policy and procedures.
National clinical guidelines
COVID-19 rapid guideline: critical care in adults [NICE: NG159] (updated 25 March 20)
See the Government's Guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 which sets out that particularly vulnerable patient groups must be shielded for at least 12 weeks. These include people with severe respiratory conditions such as all Cystic Fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD. See our Conditions management section below for more resources on working with these patients.
Online learning resources for respiratory physiotherapy with COVID-19 patients
NHS Education for Scotltand has produced a series of excellent learning resources to support assessment of and caring for the acutely unwell person. The most relevant of these resources along with those from other sources are listed below.
- Recognition and management of the deteriorating patient with COVID-19 pneumonia (NHS Education for Scotland)
- Respiratory history and examination (NHS Education for Scotland)
- Arterial blood gases (NHS Education for Scotland)
Auscultation (NHS Education for Scotland - knowledge network)
Arterial blood gas interpretation (Scottish Physiotherapy in Critical Care Practice Development Group)
X-ray interpretation (NHS Education for Scotland - knowledge network)
- Asthma (NHS Education for Scotland)
- Bronchiectasis (NHS Education for Scotland)
- Community acquired pneumonia (NHS Education for Scotland)
- COPD (NHS Education for Scotland)
- FAQs on coronavirus and cystic fibrosis
- Endo-tracheal tube (ETT) care (NHS Education for Scotland)
- Airway suctioning (Scottish Physiotherapy in Critical Care Practice Development Group)
- Oxygen therapy (NHS Education for Scotland)
- Introduction to ventilation (NHS Education for Scotland)
- Respiratory failure (Scottish Physiotherapy in Critical Care Practice Development Group)
COVID-19 : Obtaining an upper respiratory tract sample (Health Protection Scotland)
Further Online Training Modules
You can also find a series of training modules from the knowledge network of NHS Scotland using the links below: