Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBO) is a treatment mode in which the patient is entirely enclosed in a pressure chamber breathing oxygen at a pressure greater than one atmosphere. Hyperbaric nursing is a nursing specialty involved in the care of patients receiving hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy physically dissolves extra oxygen into the blood plasma. Hyperoxygenation effects are useful in the treatment of anemias, ischemias, some poisonings, gas gangrene,radiation necrosis injury, brain abscess, crushing injuries, problem wounds, burns, refractory bone infections, skin grafts and flaps.
Hyperbaric nurses perform daily assessments, operate chambers and monitor patients during treatments. They also inform patients about fire safety restrictions and key interventions, such as ear-clearing techniques to reduce trauma risks and air-breathing breaks to lower the incidence of oxygen toxicity seizures.
Nurses with experience in these chambers can earn certifications. Completing an approved course allows a nurse to take an exam and become a Certified Hyperbaric Registered Nurse (CHRN).
The candidate must have met the following requirements when applying for certification:
1. Registered Nurse degree granted from an accredited school of nursing.
2. Current RN license in the state where you practice hyperbaric nursing.
3. A minimum of two years clinical experience in an in-hospital setting, or one year critical care experience.
A passing grade on the certification exam entitles the registered nurse to display the applicable initials: CHRN, Certified Hyperbaric Registered Nurse. Advanced certification may be applied for at anytime after receiving the basic CHRN certification.
ACHRN, Advanced Certified Hyperbaric Registered Nurse.
CHRNC, Certified Hyperbaric Registered Nurse Clinician.