Whipps Cross Asthma Awareness Week

25 September 2021

By Zara Rippington, Children’s Asthma Nurse

Fresh off the back of World Asthma Day in May 2021, where our Respiratory Team donned their giant inhaler costumes and took to floor to bust asthma myths and misconceptions, Whipps Cross Hospital held their annual Asthma Awareness Week.

The aim of our asthma awareness week is to provide accessible teaching sessions to nursing staff, nursing students, medical students, doctors and any other members of the multi-disciplinary team who are involved in caring for children and young people (CYP) with Asthma.

We devised a week-long teaching programme that provided educational sessions relating to asthma care. We wanted to deliver sessions that would cover a wide range of asthma topics to equip our staff with the knowledge and confidence in treating CYP with asthma. From basic asthma care, asthma education, peak flows, providing personalised asthma action plans (PAAPs) and spacer training through to treating the acutely unwell child requiring high dependency admission.

Each day had a different topic, and the sessions were delivered to both staff in A&E and the staff on the children’s ward.

To ensure as many staff were able to attend as possible, the sessions were planned to fit around the working day. For example, in A&E every morning there is a 10@10 where ten minutes is set aside for teaching. We used this opportunity each day of our asthma awareness week to provide the teaching session.

Each afternoon through the week was reserved for our case study session. Here we took advantage of the junior doctors allocated teaching time to go through different scenarios faced by the respiratory team, including newly diagnosed patients, parental concerns, patients who are non-concordant with treatment as well as treating pre-school wheezers. Discussions on the management and outcomes of each scenario took place. This session was particularly useful in busting some of the most common asthma myths and misconceptions and gave us the opportunity to teach our staff how to troubleshoot some of the most common issues within asthma care.

As a parting gift, we organised an asthma simulation for the last session of the week…who doesn’t like one of those?! It provided them with the opportunity to consolidate their learning throughout the week and apply this to practice.

The simulation had three stations:

  • The acutely unwell child in A&E – focusing on the management of acute asthma and the escalation of treatment
  • Salbutamol prescribing – focusing on how to prescribe salbutamol and avoiding prescription errors.
  • Asthma education – focusing on spacer and inhaler technique, PAAPs, peak flow, how to reassure and inform parents ready for a safe discharge.

At the end of the week, we were given feedback and although I’m sure everyone felt all ’asthma’d out’ I believe we had succeeded in our goal of promoting and helping to achieve good asthma care for CYP within our community.










See more from #AskAboutAsthma 2021