- RTs can serve their patients well by understanding the things that aggravate allergies/asthma and by teaching patients that the first and most important step is to reduce or eliminate exposure to irritants and allergens. Be prepared to talk about ways to minimize exposure to common allergens such as pollens, mold, pet dander, dust mites, etc.
The key is self-management: teaching patients to recognize when they have been exposed to a trigger and they need to recognize their “early warning signs” of asthma. This could be itchy throat, watering eyes or nose, coughing or sneezing.
- I always ask my patients, who are using a metered dose inhaler, to “teach back” to demonstrate how they are using the device. I have patients self-demonstrate regardless of how many times I see them in clinic. I have found many patients acquire poor technique over time and I do not take for granted they are using the MDI with spacer correctly.
Anyone with asthma should have a written asthma action plan so they can determine on a frequent basis their asthma condition and implement appropriate therapy. That tends to keep people out of the Emergency Department.
So, consider how you can put these resources to use in your care of asthma and cystic fibrosis patients, and then take your awareness activities out into the community too.
Ｅｘｔｒａｃｔｅｄ ｆｒｏｍ ＡＡＲＣ
（Ａｍｅｒｉｃａｎ Ａｓｓｏｃｉａｔｉｏｎ ｆｏｒ ｒｅｓｐｉｒａｔｏｒｙ ｃａｒｅ）