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Correctional Nursing Basics:

The Respiratory System


The respiratory system is responsible for supplying oxygen to the body and removing carbon dioxide, which is a waste product of metabolism. It includes the lungs, airway, blood vessels and muscles.  The process of respiration involves a series of steps, starting with the inhalation of air and ending with the exhalation of carbon dioxide. When we breathe in, air enters through the nose or mouth and travels down the trachea, which branches off into smaller tubes called bronchi. The bronchi then divide into even smaller tubes called bronchioles, which lead to tiny air sacs called alveoli. The alveoli are the site of gas exchange in the lungs.

Part of our Basic Series, this class discusses the anatomy and physiology of the respiratory system.  It also includes the five most common disease processes affecting the respiratory system and expected nursing interventions for the patient with a respiratory problem.  This class includes audio and is best listened to with ear phones.