CPD quiz: Spirometry

Life-long learning and continuing professional development (CPD) are the processes by which professionals, such as nurses, develop and improve their practice.

There are many ways to address your CPD: formally, by attending courses, study days and workshops; or informally, through private study and reflection.

Reading articles in professional journals is a good way of keeping up to date with what is going on in the field of practice, but reflecting on what you have learned from the articles is not always easy.

These questions are designed to help you identify what you have learned from studying the article. They will also help you to clarify what you can apply in practice, what you did not understand, and what you need to explore further.

1 What is spirometry about?

a) Measuring how the volume in the lung empties

b) Ventilating the lungs

c) Measuring the movement of the lungs

d) Measuring the amount of waste gasses excreted by the lungs

2 How many types of tests are measured on simple spirometers?

a) 8

b) 6

c) 4

d) 2

3 What do inspiratory curves detect?

a) Obstructive disease

b) Extrathoracic airways obstruction

c) Intrathoracic airways obstruction

d) Asthma

4 Which two types of disease are lung diseases grouped into?

a) Obstructive and normal

b) Normal and restrictive

c) Obstructive and restrictive

d) Obstructive and abnormal

5 When calibrating the spirometer, to what degree must it be accurate?

a) 2%

b) 3%

c) 4%

d) 5%

6 What other measurement must be taken before carrying out a spirometry test?

a) Blood pressure

b) Urinalysis

c) Weight

d) Height

7 Which of the following is NOT a tip for testing?

a) Demonstrate the procedure

b) Ensure a good seal on the mouthpiece

c) Make sure the person leans forward during the test

d) Continue until no more air can be exhaled

8 At work when exposure to an allergen is possible, when should regular spirometry be done?

a) Every Monday

b) Every Friday

c) On the same day of the working week

d) At the end of the working day

9 Which of the following is NOT required to be part of the client’s spirometry record?

a) Gender and height

b) Date of birth and posture

c) Date and time of test

d) Dental record and last dental appointment

10 How long do you keep testing for a good FVC session?

a) Until the subject is fatigued

b) At least five minutes

c) Only twice

d) Must be on the first test only for accurate results


1. a – Are you happy that you fully understand what spirometry is and how to carry it out? If not, then consider attending a course – see the resources list below for more details.

2. d

3. b

4. c

5. b – Do you calibrate your spirometer every day and keep a record of the measurements? How accurate is your equipment? Make sure that it is within the parameters quoted in the article.

6. d

7. c

8. c

9. d – Keeping accurate records is an important part of any healthcare professional’s role, while at the same time considering the Data Protection Act (DPA) guidelines which are not to keep any personal details on clients. Refresh your knowledge of Part 4 of the DPA Employment Code of Practice, which you can download from www.ico.gov.uk.

10. a

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