For Allergy & Asthma Awareness Month this May, we put together a tips series for RTs. Each week, we’ll post advice from your fellow AARC Members with tips on how best to help patients who are working to manage their allergies and asthma.
This week, Sara Parker, RRT, RRT-ACCS, RRT-NPS, AE-C, from Missouri, shares her best practices for helping patients.
- Take maintenance medications as ordered! For some patients, this will include adding allergy medications in the springtime that they don’t typically need at other times of the year.
- Keep windows closed as much as possible. As nice as it is to have a breeze blowing through the house, the pollen will breeze right in as well, moving a major trigger inside.
- After playing outside or just being outside, make sure to wash hands as soon as coming inside, and change clothes before bed. If the patient is really sensitive to pollens, it would be best to shower completely before bed.
- Check for leaky windows and basements during the rainy season. (They are usually easier to find during that season!) It is best to fix those if possible, but at least need to monitor them for the development of mold.
- Pets, particularly those patients are allergic to should be at least kept out of the patient’s bedroom, so they aren’t exposed to triggers when they are supposed to be resting.
- Monitor how much albuterol or rescue medications they are using per week. If they find they are using it more than three times per week, they need to contact their doctor.
- Monitor their peak flows or symptoms every day, and notice any changes
- Make sure each patient has an asthma action plan—AND know how to use it!