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Asthma Health Outcomes Project

Overviews of Surveyed Asthma ProgramsSeptember 2005

Domestic Programs: North Carolina (cont’d)Back to Index

The Asthma Course

National Respiratory Training Center

Raleigh, NC

Margaret H. Lester, FNP, AR-C

(919) 832-3539         



The Asthma Course began in 1986 in the UK and has been offered in the US since 1997. Globally there are more than 14,000 graduates of the Asthma Course, including more than 600 US health professionals from a wide variety of roles and licensures. (The focus was on the US program only and how it is run to date).

The Asthma Course is an accredited training program offered by the National Respiratory Training Center (NRTC). The NRTC is an independent, 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization committed to improving the health of patients with respiratory and allergic disease by enhancing the knowledge and skills of the health professionals who care for them.

Successful Asthma Course students have demonstrated in-depth understanding of assessment, classification of severity, and management of asthma patients. Sound knowledge and essential practical skills enable them either to share or take responsibility for the care of asthma patients in the community.

The Asthma Course is a comprehensive, workbook-based, three- month course, supported by two in-person mid-course study days, and evaluated by oral and written examinations. During the first half of the course, students work through units covering asthma facts, history, physical examination, diagnosis and classification of severity, and medications and devices. During the second half of the course, students continue working with the course materials, concentrating on application to practice and clinical decision-making. The Asthma Course is held in many locations across the US.

The Asthma Course reported having a positive impact on "change in medical treatment plan." This includes improved prescribing and treatment practices among the graduates of the course.

Participation in an educational intervention such as the Asthma Course has a positive effect on knowledge, attitudes, and practice.

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