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Respiratory care: Asthma - Module 2 - User Guide

29 July 2010

Asthma - Module 2 - User Guide


Organised and funded by MSD



ASCEND - Asthma Skills, Continued Education and Nurse Development - has been developed by a steering group of primary and secondary care respiratory nurses including nurse representatives from Asthma UK, Education for Health, Primary Care Respiratory Society UK (formerly GPIAG), and Respiratory Education UK, in partnership with and funded by Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited.
To find out more about the Partner Associations - including Asthma UK, Education for Health, PCRS-UK, REUK - please click here.
The ASCEND programme seeks to enhance the foundation of knowledge and skills relevant to nurses working with people with asthma. It is aimed at nurses working in primary care and is positioned at a pre-Asthma Diploma level. However, secondary care nurses and experienced healthcare assistants may also find the programme useful.
Module 2: Asthma: Causes, Triggers and Diagnosis, is the second of five modules in the ASCEND Programme. This module details the development of asthma including host and environmental factors, and the diagnosis of asthma in adults and children.
The modules will include:
Module 1: Asthma: Epidemiology, Anatomy & Physiology, and Pathophysiology
Module 3: Asthma Management and Treatment
Module 4: Taking Control
Module 5: The Asthma Review
Each module can be read as part of the wider programme or independently in its own right. This module should take approximately one hour to read and work through, however sections can also be used individually as needed.
Each module is split into sections with 'learning outcomes' outlined at the start of each section. 'Test your knowledge' questions are available throughout to help ensure a thorough understanding of the subject matter. These questions are for personal use and do not need to be submitted - answers are available at the end of the module. In addition, there are reflection points at the end of the module to assist with self learning. 
The content of each module may be downloaded for personal use and also teaching purposes. 

This module of learning aims to:

  • provide an overview of current understanding of the causes of asthma
  • explain why asthma develops in some people and not in others
  • describe factors and events that can trigger asthma and asthma symptoms
  • summarise current approaches to diagnosing asthma (signs and symptoms, commonly used tools, practical advice)
  • explain the slight differences required in diagnosing asthma in children and in adults
  • give pointers on how to reach a differential diagnosis

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