The purpose of this learning resource a tutorial designed
to teach the learner how to interpret arterial blood gas results. The site
offers students basic concepts of interpretation and then takes them through
nine specific patient case studies for practice and self-testing.
Key words: ABG interpretation; acid-base balance;
After viewing this presentation when analyzing arterial blood gas results the learner should be able to:
Determine the acid/base balance for the patient.
Determine if the patient's primary problem might be metabolic or respiratory in origin.
Determine whether or not the patient body is compensating for an acid/base imbalance.
Target Student Population:
The target student population could include any healthcare
pre-professional studying respiratory anatomy & physiology or pathophysiology,
Respiratory therapy students
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Prerequisite knowledge and skills include:
The ability to use a computer connected to the Internet
Basic physiology of respiration
Rationale for obtaining an arterial blood gas (ABG)
An understanding of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and
Common medical conditions associated with an acid/base
Type of Material:
This learning resource can be classified as:
Students seem to find this content difficult to grasp and this site would offer them not only content,
but practice as well. The learning resource would be useful to nursing students, respiratory therapy students, students taking critical care content, and students taking a course in human physiology. The learning resource could be used in class as a small group activity or as a homework assignment.
The user needs to have a computer connected to the Internet and a web browser. There are no special technical requirements for use of the material. The content is easily navigated using the content frames or the navigation bar on the page. The page opens quickly and all the links appeared to be intact and appropriate.
Evaluation and Observation
The strengths of this learning module are:
This site breaks down a difficult concept and skill
into simple language.
The concepts are explained clearly in an engaging and
conversational tone so that learners may get the sense that there is an
individual explaining the content just for them.
The self testing is very useful to learners as it
offers well developed rationales for both correct and incorrect responses on
the case studies.
Learners can easily navigate back to content or repeat
case studies until they are comfortable with the concepts.
No significant concerns. The author might consider
an addendum which refers to more complex information about ABG interpretation.
This tutorial focuses on acid/base issues and not oxygenation issues. The
level of knowledge needed to utilize the site effectively is fairly high level.
Students without some knowledge of ABGs could be frustrated and find the content
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The learning objectives are implied, but not explicitly stated. Prerequisite knowledge is also implied.
The concepts of arterial blood gas interpretation are reinforced progressively.
Arterial blood gas interpretation is done systematically using a three-step process.
The case studies are interactive and provide rationales for correct and incorrect answers.
The material is flexible for use in teaching learning materials. It can be used to reinforce textbook information,
supplement classroom lecture, small group discussions, and as reference material for additional case study learning activities.
The teaching effectiveness of the tutorial would be enhanced with the addition of stated learning objectives and a statement about the prerequisite knowledge. Prerequisite knowledge of respiratory physiology should be a minimal requirement.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The site is easy to use. The site is designed to be easily accessed and navigated.
Color and white space is used in the page design to reinforce important concepts.
The layout is logical and allows for repeating the content and/or case studies.
Faculty should evaluate the level of student knowledge before assigning this content to avoid frustrating the student.
Other Issues and Comments:
This site is a wonderful resource for faculty and students. It is a well designed and attractive site that makes the content seem less difficult.