When seeking a ventilator care unit for yourself or a loved one, thorough consideration of specific factors is crucial to ensure the highest quality of care and support. Ventilator-dependent individuals often require specialized attention, and choosing the right care unit can significantly impact their well-being. Here’s a comprehensive guide from West View Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, with one of only two ventilator care units in the state of Rhode Island, on what to look for:

1. Specialized Staff Expertise: The cornerstone of an effective ventilator care unit is a team of healthcare professionals with specialized expertise in respiratory care. Look for facilities with respiratory therapists, pulmonologists, nurses, and other allied health professionals who are trained to manage ventilator-dependent patients. Regular training and up-to-date certifications ensure that the staff is well-equipped to handle the unique challenges associated with ventilator care.

2. 24/7 Staffing: Ventilator care requires constant monitoring and intervention. Ensure that the care unit has round-the-clock staffing to address any emergencies promptly. Having a team of healthcare professionals available at all times is essential for providing timely care, monitoring vital signs, and responding to changes in the patient’s condition.

3. State-of-the-Art Ventilation Technology: The quality and capability of the ventilators used in the care unit are paramount. Look for facilities that invest in state-of-the-art ventilation technology. Modern ventilators offer advanced features, such as synchronized ventilation modes, alarms for detecting issues, and the ability to adapt to the patient’s changing needs. Regular maintenance and updates to equipment ensure reliability and safety.

4. Comprehensive Care Plans: Individualized and comprehensive care plans are crucial for ventilator-dependent patients. The care unit should develop and implement personalized care plans that address the unique medical, respiratory, and rehabilitation needs of each patient. Regular assessments and adjustments to care plans ensure that patients receive the most effective and appropriate care throughout their stay.

5. Interdisciplinary Approach: Collaboration among various healthcare professionals is key to holistic ventilator care. Look for units that adopt an interdisciplinary approach, involving respiratory therapists, physicians, nurses, dietitians, occupational and physical therapists, and social workers. This collaborative effort addresses not only the respiratory aspects but also the overall well-being of the patient.

6. Rehabilitation Services: Ventilator care should extend beyond respiratory support to encompass rehabilitation services. Facilities with integrated rehabilitation programs, including physical and occupational therapy, contribute to the patient’s overall recovery and functional independence. Rehabilitation services help ventilator-dependent individuals regain strength, mobility, and the ability to perform daily activities.

7. Family and Patient Education: Effective ventilator care units prioritize patient and family education. Ensure that the care unit provides comprehensive education on the proper use of equipment, signs of complications, and strategies for home care if applicable. Informed patients and families are better equipped to participate in the care process and make informed decisions about their health.

8. Infection Control Measures: Given the susceptibility of ventilator-dependent patients to respiratory infections, infection control measures are of utmost importance. The care unit should have stringent protocols in place to prevent and control infections. This includes regular cleaning and disinfection of equipment and surfaces, proper hand hygiene practices, and isolation measures when necessary.

9. Transition Planning and Support: For patients who may eventually transition to home care, the ventilator care unit should provide comprehensive transition planning and support. This includes training for family members or caregivers, coordination of home equipment and services, and ongoing support to ensure a smooth transition from the care unit to a home environment.

10. Patient and Family-Centered Care: A ventilator care unit that prioritizes patient and family-centered care creates an environment where individuals feel respected and involved in decision-making. Facilities that encourage open communication, involve patients and families in care planning, and consider their preferences contribute to a more positive and supportive care experience.

In conclusion, choosing a ventilator care unit involves careful consideration of specialized staff expertise, advanced technology, comprehensive care plans, and a patient and family-centered approach. By evaluating these factors, individuals can make informed decisions to ensure that their loved ones receive the highest quality ventilator care and support.


One of only two ventilator units in Rhode Island, West View Nursing’s state-of-the-art Certified Ventilator Care Unit provides long and short-term support, top-rated nursing care and spacious rooms catering to the critical care needs of residents who depend on ventilators for respiratory support or who have required a tracheostomy.