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Asthma for the Correctional Nurse I

As nurses in corrections, we see a large number of patients affected by asthma. Many have poor asthma control due to their inability to purchase medication, knowledge deficit about their chronic condition or general apathy about their health. Helping the patient achieve and maintain asthma control requires patient education in self-management skills and monitoring the patient’s response to medication to assess control.

We have divided the topic into two classes.  Together, they form an in-depth review of asthma, including pathophysiology, breath sounds (with audio), the Step-Wise approach to asthma care, pharmacotherapy, and patient education.  Step-by-step instructions are included for use of an inhaler and spacer, obtaining a peak flow measurement, and use of a nebulizer.  The patient Asthma Education Plan will also be reviewed.

In Asthma for the Correctional Nurse, Part I, we will review the pathophysiology of asthma, breath sounds, and the Step-Wise approach to asthma care.  In Asthma for the Correctional Nurse, Part II, we will continue with pharmacotherapy, nursing interventions and patient education.