It is common for critical care nurses to administer sedative medications to patients receiving mechanical ventilation. Although patient-controlled analgesia is frequently used in practice to promote effective self-management of pain by patients, it is not known if patient-controlled sedation can be used to promote effective self-management of distressing symptoms associated with mechanical ventilation. A randomized pilot trial was conducted to evaluate whether patient self-administered sedation with dexmedetomidine is safe and acceptable for self-management of anxiety during ventilator support. This case report details the experiences of one patient enrolled in the pilot trial who was randomly assigned to the experimental dexmedetomidine intervention, completed the study protocol, and provided feedback. In a poststudy survey, the patient responded positively to the use of self-administered sedation with dexmedetomidine during ventilator support.

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