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How To Use A Nebulizer

YouTube video


Recently, we launched our new Healing Care Hospice (HCH) YouTube channel: Healing Care Hospice University. Our goal with this channel is to post videos that combine kindness with skill, empowering caregivers with the tools they need to provide quality care for their loved ones.

Image of a nebulizer mask.

This video is about how to use a nebulizer.

A nebulizer is a device that creates mist out of liquid medication, to be inhaled into the lungs. Nebulizers are more commonly used for the treatment of asthma, bronchitis, shortness of breath, and other respiratory diseases or disorders.

Angela Benitez, RN, BSN, Healing Care Hospice Professional Development Manager.

In the video, HCH Professional Development Manager, Angela Benitez, RN, BSN, will show how to use a nebulizer, starting with its five basic parts:

  1. A medicine cup
  2. A top piece or cap
  3. A mask or mouthpiece
  4. Thin plastic tubing
  5. An air machine (also called a compressor, which can be plugged into an electrical socket)

A nebulizer is easy to use and standard for all hospice patients. The following are the steps to take when using a nebulizer:

  1. Perform proper hand hygiene.
  2. Pour the medication into the medicine cup, according to the provider’s prescription.
  3. Attach the top piece or cap to the medicine cup. Make sure that the baffle is inside the medicine cup or the medicine will not vaporize.
    Image of a medicine cup (part of a nebulizer kit) being opened.
  4. Adjusting the elastic strings and nose wire as needed, attach the mask to the top piece or cap. You may also use a mouthpiece instead of a mask.
  5. Connect one end of the plastic tubing to the air compressor.
  6. Attach the other end of the plastic tubing to the bottom of the medicine cup.
  7. Put the mask or over your face or put the mouthpiece into your mouth between your teeth and close your lips tightly around it.
  8. Turn on your compressor.
  9. Hold your nebulizer in an upright position to ensure the medicine is evenly distributed and to prevent spilling. Take normal breaths in through your mouth so the medicine can go deep into your lungs. Continue until all the medicine is gone from your cup. This process should take ten to fifteen minutes to complete.


To prevent the growth of pathogens and prolong the life of your equipment, use only distilled water when using your nebulizer machine. The proper way to clean your equipment is to also use distilled water and soap to rinse them, however, in a home setting, using tap water is appropriate. Afterwards, make sure to let all the equipment air dryer before putting them away.

For more helpful, informational videos, please visit our YouTube Channel.


Written by V Perera

Contributions by Angela Benitez, RN, BSN