Moderate Sedation

Course Hours: 1

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For a complete list of accreditations for this course, please see the accreditation information box below the author’s bio.  All states recognize our courses for accredited continuing nursing education, CNE, contact hours.

Moderate (conscious) sedation is a technique of administering sedatives or dissociative agents with or without analgesics to induce a depressed level of consciousness that allows a patient to undergo an unpleasant procedure but maintain cardio-respiratory functions. As minimally invasive and non-invasive procedures are performed increasingly outside of the operating room, moderate sedation is becoming commonplace in ambulatory surgery centers and office-based practices. The purpose of this course is to provide nurses and medical healthcare professionals with the knowledge and education required for safe medication delivery based on standardized operational guidelines. This course presents pre-procedure, intra-procedure and post-procedure assessment and monitoring, airway assessment, necessary equipment, drug and reversal medication used including doses, precautions and side effects, cardiac dysrhythmias recognition, as well preparation for an unexpected crisis.


Upon completion of this course the user will be able to:

  1. Differentiate between levels of sedation/analgesia and general anesthesia.
  2. Identify medications used to achieve moderate sedation/analgesia and list the reversal agent for each where applicable.
  3. List the preprocedural, procedural and postprocedural nursing care of patients who receive moderate sedation/analgesia.




Chapter 1: Introduction to Moderate Sedation
  • Introduction
  • National Anesthesia Standards
  • ENA ACEP Position Statements
  • Sedation Continuum
Chapter 2: Medical Staff Responsibilities/Equipment
  • Nursing Responsibilities
  • Physician Responsibilities
  • Equipment and Monitoring
Chapter 3: Pharmacology of Moderate Sedation
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Opioids
  • Reversal Medications
  • Nursing Considerations
Chapter 4: Guidelines for Nursing and Patients
  • Mallampati Airway Classification System
  • Emergency Interventions
  • Respiratory Depression and Hypoventilation
  • Discharge Criteria
  • Summary
  • California Bill 241
  • Implicit Bias in Healthcare
  • What is Implicit Bias?
  • Implications of Implicit Bias in Healthcare
  • How to Reduce Implicit Bias
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