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Clinical Online Education

Airway Clearance (Online)

This interactive, narrated, self-paced online course focuses on airway clearance equipment, techniques, and therapies commonly used for patients who need assistance mobilizing respiratory secretions. There is an emphasis on the home care environment. Topics include:

  • Physiology of mucus
  • Deep breathing and coughing
  • Postural drainage
  • Chest percussion and vibration
  • Positive expiratory pressure and airway oscillating therapy
  • High frequency chest wall oscillation therapy, also known as vest therapy
  • Mechanical in-exsufflation, also known as cough assist therapy
  • Intrapulmonary percussive ventilation therapy

1.25 contact hours will be awarded to online class participants.

Criteria for successful completion to receive 1.25 contact hours

  • Completion of all course modules
  • Achieving a passing score of 85% on post-test
  • Completion and submission of evaluation form

No individual with the ability to control the content of this activity has any relevant financial relationship with ineligible companies to disclose.

This nursing continuing professional development activity was approved by the Montana Nurses Association, an accredited approver with distinction by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation. Activity Number 2022-0000000798. Expiration date 2/16/2025.

This program has been approved for 1.25 contact hours Continuing Respiratory Care Education (CRCE) credit by the American Association for Respiratory Care, 9425 N. MacArthur Blvd, Suite 100, Irving TX 75063. Activity Number: 189814000. Expiration date 5/10/2025. 

Objectives: At the completion of this training program, the participant will be able to

  1. Discuss the physiology of normal mucus and the ways in which it is normally moved out of the lungs.
  2. Verbalize common indications for airway clearance therapy.
  3. Describe the steps of an effective cough.
  4. Demonstrate positioning for a patient receiving postural drainage of specific lung segments.
  5. Demonstrate performing percussion to a patient’s chest.
  6. Describe how Positive Expiratory Pressure and Airway Oscillatory devices work and the type of patients for which they are helpful.
  7. Verbalize the procedure for performing High Frequency Chest Wall Oscillation, Mechanical In-Exsufflation, and Intrapulmonary Percussive Ventilation therapy.
  8. Describe the potential hazards of mechanical airway clearance therapies.

Course authors: Mary Wightman, RRT-NPS, LRT and Jean Stumpf, BSN, CRNI

For best learner experience, we recommend viewing this course on any desktop or laptop computer. The course may not display well when taken with an iPad, some mobile phones, or an Android tablet.

If you are experiencing technical difficulty or have questions with your online course, please email We will respond to your email within one business day. Regular business hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central/Standard time.

Price: $10