Physiotherapy management of the respiratory patient

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The Scottish Physiotherapy in Critical Care Practice Development Group has created these online learning modules to support staff managing patients with respiratory conditions within an in-patient setting, about to commence on-call, or who wish to update their skills. The content of some of the modules is generic and would be relevant to staff from a range of professional groups.


It is important to note that early indications suggest that COVID-19 patients are not presenting with many secretions and are not requiring physiotherapy intervention. However, there are patients presenting with secretions due to secondary infection and/or co-morbidities and therefore may require physiotherapy intervention. Please ensure you are up-to-date with current Health Protection Scotland advice on managing the patient with COVID-19.

  • The modules were designed for an in-patient context, but some content will be transferable to other care settings and have been grouped accordingly.
  • Each module takes between 30 and 60 minutes to complete with an assessment on completion. The modules can be completed together or accessed individually to update knowledge on a specific topic.
  • Staff should use these modules in conjunction with local guidance, induction and education packages.
Useful information

Information you may find useful before you commence the modules

The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Respiratory Care (ACPRC) have published helpful guidance and resources for Clinicians and Managers, which can be downloaded from their site.

Note: You will need to login with your Turas account to view the modules below:

  • Assessment and monitoring
  • Auscultation
  • Respiratory failure
  • Oxygen therapy
  • Cough facilitation
  • Airway clearance techniques
  • Controlled mobilisation
  • Interpreting chest x-rays
  • Arterial blood gas interpretation
  • Principles of humidification
  • Airway suctioning
  • Tracheostomy
  • Mechanical ventilation
  • Use of intermittent positive pressure breathing (IPPB / Bird)
  • Manual hyperinflation (MHI)

This account is the same as your Turas Appraisal account. If you do not have an account then please register for a free Turas account.

Modules for all clinical settings
Additional modules for the acute / in-patient setting

Contact details questions about these modules:

New staff

Mobility Aids Provision:

These modules are aimed at people that have previously been evaluated to be able to safely assess the need for, and provide, different types of walking aids to service users. The modules are available to remind registrants or support workers about how to safely assess and provide walking aids in a hospital or community