Over the past quarter century, the prevalence and severity of asthma has dramatically increased around the world. This has increased the recognition for the personal, family and community problems and costs associated with asthma.
It became apparent that specially-trained, knowledgeable health care providers were needed to teach patients what they need to know to control this complex disease. The national asthma guidelines, published by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, recognize asthma education as an important part of controlling asthma.
An asthma educator is an expert in counseling individuals with asthma and their families on how to manage their asthma and to minimize its impact on their quality of life.
The asthma educator:
- Has comprehensive, current knowledge of asthma pathophysiology and management including human development, cultural aspects, chronic illness and teaching-learning principles
- Understands how asthma is diagnosed and how to assess its control
- Teaches the best use of medications and delivery devices, explaining technical concepts in understandable terms
- Conducts individual and family assessments to identify strengths, resources, psychological factors, social and economic impact, educational needs, and barriers to optimal health care and self-management
- Works with individuals with asthma, their families and healthcare professionals to develop, implement, monitor and revise the asthma action plan customized to individual needs, environment, disease severity and lifestyle
- Monitors asthma education program outcomes and recommends changes to improve quality and effectiveness
- Serves as a resource to the community by providing information about asthma as well as healthcare and community resources
To promote optimal asthma management and quality of life among individuals with asthma, their families and communities, by advancing excellence in asthma education through the Certified Asthma Educator (AE-C) process.
Goals and Objectives
The National Asthma Educator Certification Board will develop and implement qualifications/standards, as well as a certification examination for asthma educators on a national level. Outcome studies to evaluate the effectiveness of education by a Certified Asthma Educator ( AE-C) will be performed to assess the benefit of this process and to help guide the re-certification process.
The NAECB process follows the successful models and standards of the Canadian Network for Asthma Care and its Certified Asthma Educator (CAE); the National Certification Board of Diabetes Educators and its Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE); the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), Standards for Certification Programs and the National Organization for Competence Assurance (NOCA).