Interprofessional Education: Oral Health and Mechanically Ventilated Critically Ill Adults

Publication ID Published Volume
9709 February 13, 2014 10


The power point presentation with audio and embedded video clips presents an overview of the relationship of oral health to overall systemic health in mechanically ventilated adults. The purpose of this module is to inform health care professionals of the link between oral health and systemic health in mechanically ventilated adults; the characteristics of mechanically ventilated adults that increase their risk of systemic effects from poor oral hygiene; state of the science recommendations for oral hygiene practices; an oral hygiene regimen for mechanically ventilated adults; and ways that nursing, dental, medical, and respiratory therapy professionals can be influential in improving interprofessional oral hygiene practices for mechanically ventilated adults. To achieve the intended aim, this video/presentation consists of five segments. The first segment focuses on the relationship of oral health to overall systemic health. The second segment explains the characteristics, and rationale supporting good oral hygiene in mechanically ventilated patients. The third segment focuses on the state of science of oral care practices in mechanically ventilated adults. The fourth segment explains and demonstrates a recommended regimen for oral hygiene in mechanically ventilated adults. Finally, detrimental practices, special considerations, and the role of interprofessional healthcare providers are presented. Because it is offered in a narrated format with embedded video clips, providers can refer to it as many times as necessary to refresh and/or clarify understanding. The narrated power point can also be projected as a stand-alone presentation before a group of viewers in teaching and/or calibration scenarios. For the convenience of the educator, the power point is also provided without audio so that it may be used in a variety of ways or modified to meet specific needs. While certainly applicable for those in the dental field, the content of the video/presentation will likely be most useful for those involved in the primary care of mechanically ventilated adults.

The video is currently used in education of undergraduate nursing students in care of mechanically ventilated adults. This curriculum will be useful to not only registered nurses but medical staff, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dental professionals and respiratory therapists. In some facilities respiratory therapists are assisting in providing oral care and they are responsible for changing the endotracheal tube holders, which provides an opportunity to provide a more thorough assessment of the oral cavity under the tube holder. Dental professionals need to be aware of the care provided in this population as referrals may be made for cases that are outside of the expertise of the interprofessional inpatient ICU team.


Jones D, Sadowsky J, Morris D, Patel B. Interprofessional education: oral health and mechanically ventilated critically ill adults. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2014;10:9709.

Educational Objectives

  1. To define components of oral health in mechanically ventilated adults.
  2. To recognize complications from poor oral health.
  3. To promote good oral health through the delivery of appropriate interprofessional oral hygiene.
  4. To describe the state of the science regarding oral care practices in mechanically ventilated adults.
  5. To assess and deliver evidence-based interprofessional oral care.
  6. To recognize triggers to consult other healthcare providers.


  • Oral Health, Mechanical Ventilation, Artificial Respiration, Critically Ill, Critical Illness, Oral-Systemic Health, Oral Care, Interprofessional, ICU

Prior Scholarly Dissemination

The learning module was supported by a grant from Oral Health Nursing Education and Practice Program Grant (OHNEP) 
The New York University College of Nursing & National Interprofessional Initiative on Oral Health (NIIOH). It has been peer reviewed by OHNEP and is offered on their website.


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