One of the most common chronic disorders in childhood, asthma is currently affecting an estimated 7.1 million children under 18-years-old.
In order to better serve the needs of patients and families, Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach has created a new role at the hospital, Certified Asthma Educators (CAE). This role provides much needed asthma education, not only to patients and family, but staff as well. Four Certified Asthma Educators, who also are either nurses or respiratory care practitioners, are available to help patients and families learn to control their asthma at home.
What is a Certified Asthma Educator (CAE)?
Certified Asthma Educator (CAE) is a title awarded by the National Asthma Education Certification Board (NAECB). The NAECB administers a voluntary exam used to assess qualified health professionals knowledge in asthma education. The exam evaluates candidates to ensure that they demonstrate the skills and ability to accurately and consistently provide asthma education.
Miller Children’s has created expectations of the CAE that include:
- Providing asthma education to patients and families
- Maintaining patient and family education materials based on best practices
- Acting in a leadership role for asthma patient care
- Functioning as a resource to colleagues
- Providing education to colleagues
How Will CAEs Impact Patient Care?
At Miller Children’s, the standard of asthma education has been set to include appropriate education for all patients. Just as no two patients are alike, no two diagnoses will be the same. CAE’s work with patients to help identify their personal triggers and symptoms based on their diagnosis.
Patients who have been admitted to the hospital and are newly diagnosed will receive extensive asthma education, including:
- What to expect during the child’s hospital stay
- Common signs and symptoms of asthma flare ups
- What happens during an asthma attack
- Warning signs of uncontrolled asthma
- Common asthma triggers
- Home management tips
- Proper inhaler and peak flow meter usage
All asthma patients are given an asthma education book to help them take care of their asthma at home and chart their treatment.
For patients who are visiting the asthma clinic, general education is substituted with an overall analysis of their progress since their last visit. CAE’s work with patients and their families at each visit to see how they’re doing and if they need to change their medications based on difficulties in their asthma management.
Education Beyond Asthma Patients
As part of their overall duties, CAE’s also are ambassadors of asthma education throughout the hospital. They work closely with physicians and other care teams when a patient with asthma is undergoing surgery or other medical procedures. CAE’s can identify possible causes of asthma flare-ups during treatment and suggest a plan of action to ensure a patient is safely and successfully treated.
Outside of the hospital, CAE’s work closely with the Long Beach Alliance for Children with Asthma (LBACA) to ensure that there is a continuum of care in the community. Together with LBACA, Certified Asthma Educators can impact childhood asthma in the most affected areas of the city of Long Beach and the surrounding communities.
For more information on asthma care at Miller Children’s, call 800-MEMORIAL or visit MillerChildrens.org/Pulmonary.