Asthma & COPD: Managing Respiratory Illness in Primary Care

Course Description

It is estimated that asthma and COPD each affect approximately 450-475,000 people in Ireland.

On average, one person a week dies in Ireland from acute asthma attacks, despite our access to improved treatment. A clear understanding of the best procedures for diagnosing and treating asthma is indispensable to the practice nurse. Given their shared respiratory basis, it makes sense to align asthma training with an update in the challenging treatment of COPD, as practice nurses meet people with COPD on a daily basis and require baseline knowledge on COPD to optimise their patient's quality of life. People with COPD require accurate diagnosis, education in relation to medication, oxygen therapy and inhaler technique, access to pulmonary rehabilitation, management of acute exacerbations, and regular review and monitoring. Many patients with COPD have multiple co-morbidities (diabetes, osteoporosis, coronary heart disease) as a result of their COPD which also need to be addressed

This course is underpinned by Scope of Practice (Nursing & Midwifery Board of Ireland 2015), the Global Initiative for the Management of Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD 2017), the Global Initiative for Asthma Management (GINA 2017), and the Asthma Society of Ireland in collaboration with the Irish College of General Practitioner's guidelines on Asthma Control in General Practice (2012). It seeks to update the nurse on how to care for the person with Asthma and/or COPD including diagnosis and education, smoking cessation, inhaler techniques and long-term oxygen therapy (LTOT).

Course Aim

This programme provides nurses working in clinical practice with the up-to-date knowledge and skills needed to care for people with asthma and COPD on a routine basis.

Course Objectives and Learning Outcomes

At the end of this programme participants should understand

  • the clinical evidence underpinning the diagnosis of asthma
  • the pharmacological and non-pharmacological management of asthma
  • the treatment of stable vs. acute asthma
  • the practice of peak-flow measurements
  • the clinical evidence underpinning the diagnosis of COPD, including spirometry
  • inhaler techniques
  • behavioural tools to encourage smoking cessation

Who Should Attend

Practice Nurses or equivalent healthcare professionals.

Trainer’s Profile

Trainer Name: Ruth Morrow MSc., BNS., RANP., RNP., RGN

Ruth received her general training in the Adelaide Hospital, Dublin and in 1992 chose the career path of practice nursing one year following qualification. She is currently employed in a single-handed General Practice in rural Co Leitrim. She completed her Bachelor of Nursing Studies degree programme in the distance learning centre (Oscail) at DCU and followed this with a Masters in Nursing Science from the University of Manchester and the Royal College of Nursing in the UK. In 2001, she received Clinical Nurse Specialist status and in November 2005 was accredited as the first Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Primary Care in Ireland. Her role primarily focuses on long term conditions which include diabetes, hypertension, chronic kidney disease, coronary heart disease, COPD and asthma. In 2010, she completed the Certificate in Nurse/Midwife prescribing and became a Registered Nurse Prescriber. Ruth has published many articles on a wide range of clinical issues. She is currently consulting editor of Nursing in General Practice, the official journal of the Irish Practice Nurses Association. In 2015, she was appointed clinical director of NurseCPD which publishes e-learning modules for nurses. She is a trainer for Education for Health in the UK for the Asthma Diploma. She is also a tutor for the asthma and COPD on-line modules in NUIG. Ruth also runs her own consultancy business and has written and developed a number of respiratory education programmes which have been approved by the Nursing & Midwifery Board of Ireland and are delivered to practice nurses nationally. Ruth frequently supports the Asthma Society of Ireland, the Leitrim Branch of Diabetes Ireland and Special Olympics Ireland. In 2010 and 2014, she was the Medical Co-ordinator with the Irish Special Olympics European Team in Poland and Belgium respectively. In 2017, she was the medical co-ordinator for Irish Special Olympics World Team for the World Winter Games in Austria and has been recently appointed as the Medical Co-ordinator for Team Ireland for the World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi in 2019. In her spare time, Ruth enjoys walking, yoga, cycling, crocheting reading and gardening.

Course Details

  • Category: General Practice Training
  • Duration: Days: 1
  • Provider: Leading Healthcare Providers Skillnet
  • Skillnet Members Price: €30.00
  • Unemployed: No
  • Accreditation: NMBI Accredited
  • Award: NMBI CEUs
  • Credits/CEU's: 7
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