“I have learnt so much not just academically but also personally”

7th May 2019

While many nurses see just a few patients with asthma alongside the rest of their caseload, when a nurse wants to specialise in asthma, and possibly even in children’s asthma, Education for Health has ideal education and training available to support this specialist route.

Children’s Asthma and Allergy Nurse Specialist Lesley Kennedy studied our Optimising Asthma Management Level 7 module, after looking to increase her knowledge in the areas of difficult to control asthma and severe therapy resistant asthma within children.

Lesley works in independent nurse-led clinics on asthma and allergy, including community and hospital adolescent transition clinics, as well as focusing on safe discharge care pathway and ward reviews. She is also involved in a rolling programme of teaching medical and nursing staff and in the community for Primary Care. The focus of the programme is to try to reduce the burden of asthma and improve outcomes for asthmatic children, which will have a lasting effect.

She said: “I chose this course because I had studied with Education for Health before and the course suited my lifestyle and work. Learning from the trainer was good and being able to share personal experiences comparing how the management of children differed from adults as there were many factors involved with their care.”

Meeting and overcoming challenges along the way

Lesley brought experience and discipline to getting the very best out of her time studying. She said: “Getting the essay submitted correctly was the most challenging thing, I set aside time every week on my day off purely for the course. This is a wonderful course which takes time to work through but is very relevant to practice today.

“While it is distance learning it still requires commitment to complete and you have to be able to work on your own – however there is also always support through the forum and from the link lecturer if it is needed.

“I feel I have consolidated knowledge; I have realised how much is involved in putting together an essay and how difficult it can be to put research based thoughts and opinions into writing so that they make sense.”

Lesley further used her time studying with Education for Health and the articles she read as part of the course, to support her presentation Remote DOT, lessons learned on adolescent adherence at the NPRANG Conference in 2018.

Changing practice and future plans.

She added: “I will use what I have learnt in my work place to improve my practice, but I will also read new research and compare the findings to older articles. After my time on this course, I have really learnt to question and analyse what I read.

“While studying this course hasn’t meant specific professional development for me, it has made me enthusiastic about where I can go from here, kept me focussed on my learning and development and made me contemplate what I want to study next. And I enjoyed talking to other asthma specialists and GPs on our study days to compare what we all do and to find out how they deal with some of the common problems. This is not a dedicated children’s’ course but the content was still relevant to my work. I have learnt so much, not just academically but also personally.

“It is quite worrying when we look at the Asthma UK report of 2018 and realise that only 40% of respondents’ basic care levels (an annual asthma review, a written asthma action plan and an inhaler technique check with a healthcare professional) were met1. There is such a long way to go and I want to be suitably equipped to do my best for the asthmatics attending my clinics.”

If you’re looking to develop your career in nursing and want to improve your asthma knowledge, take a look at our available asthma courses here at https://store.educationforhealth.org/

1https://www.asthma.org.uk/578f5bcf/globalassets/get-involved/external-affairs-campaigns/publications/annual-asthma-care-survey/annual-asthma-survey-2018/asthmauk-annual-asthma-survey-2018-v7.pdf