Pressure controlled ventilation is a common mode of ventilation used to manage both adult and pediatric populations. However, there is very little evidence that distinguishes the efficacy of pressure controlled ventilation over that of volume controlled ventilation in the adult population. This gap in the literature may be due to the absence of a consistent and systematic algorithm for managing pressure controlled ventilation. This article provides a brief overview of the applications of both pressure controlled ventilation and volume controlled ventilation and proposes an algorithmic approach to the management of patients receiving pressure controlled ventilation. This algorithmic approach highlights the need for clinicians to have a comprehensive conceptual understanding of mechanical ventilation, pulmonary physiology, and interpretation of ventilator graphics in order to best care for patients receiving pressure controlled ventilation. The objective of identifying a systematic approach to managing pressure controlled ventilation is to provide a more generalizable and equitable approach to management of the ICU patient. Ideally, a consistent approach to managing pressure controlled ventilation in the adult population will glean more reliable information regarding actual patient outcomes, as well as the efficacy of pressure controlled ventilation when compared to volume controlled ventilation.