Cultural Considerations for Patients With Asthma

Introduction

Asthma is a severe condition characterized by obstruction in the lungs’ airways. It is defined as a life-threatening chronic condition when airway inflammation and narrowing provoke wheeze, cough, and shortness of breath (Larsson et al., 2020). The burden of asthma is unequal between populations, and African Americans show high rates of hospitalization. In this paper, the case of a patient diagnosed and treated with asthma and cultural considerations will be discussed to show how this experience influences feelings through nursing school and the registered nurses future.

Situation

A five-year-old African boy is delivered to a hospital by his mother with such symptoms as shortness of breath, chest pain, and irregular cough during the last three days. Parents have not used any medications to relieve pain but immediately addressed a doctor. In the family, several relatives have already been diagnosed with asthma. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020), children between 5 and 14 years, as well as adults between 35 and 64 years, have the highest diagnostic ratings (8.6% and 7.7%, respectively). To reduce the number of attacks and avoid complications, the child has to be properly examined and treated.

Medications and Diagnosis

In addition to the evaluation of the medical history, several diagnostic tests are required. Pulmonary function testing (spirometry) is used to check how the air moves during breathing in and out with the child’s maximum effort (Wu et al., 2019).

This method reveals if there is airflow obstruction (the fractional exhaled volume in the first second and the total volume forcefully exhaled) (Wu et al., 2019). Bronchoprovocation tests may help see how the airways react to specific exposures (potential allergens). After a physical exam, medications are prescribed for a month to observe how the patient responds. Inhaled bronchodilators (short-term control) and corticosteroid (long-term control) are offered to predict the progress of the inflammatory process and airway remodeling (Wu et al., 2019). Non-pharmacologic interventions include stress avoidance, air conditioning, and dietary control (Wu et al., 2019). The mother is educated about regular physical activities for the child.

My Feelings About the Situation

During writing about asthma, I understand that some diseases are not always easy to predict if people are genetically predisposed to them. I feel that this family needs support on how to live with asthma. I know that people could live with this disease and perform their regular daily activities if specific medications are taken. However, when an illness challenges a child, it is always unpleasant. I have to cooperate with the boy and his mother and listen to the doctor’s recommendations. At this moment, I feel that my participation in treating asthma and helping the family plays an important role.

Experience Impact

During the diagnosis and the creation of a treatment plan, my task is to stay attentive and careful with all the details. Primary care for children with asthma is integral because it is a good opportunity to achieve control at the initial stage of the disease (Wu et al., 2019). Patients expect that medications lead to rapid relief of symptoms with low cost and solid availability (Larsson et al., 2020). I like the possibility to discuss long- and short-term treatment options for the patient. There is no need to use antibiotics that damage the child’s immune system. However, asthma may be developed with time, and awareness about its classification and symptoms is critical for nurses and patients.

Experience on My Path in Nursing School

Nursing education is a chance for students to learn care guidelines, implement programs, and provide care. Pediatric asthma is never simple because this disease changes the child’s life, and I have to understand how to support patients and their families. This experience shows that I should demonstrate confidence and intention to educate. It is not enough to come to the patient and say that I am ready to help. Nursing school is the place where I compare different situations and practice in decision-making.

Experience on My Future as an RN

My responsibilities as a registered nurse (RN) include monitoring the patient’s condition and need assessment. This experience proves the importance of collaboration with a physician to promote an individualized care plan I should also examine the patient regularly to admit if any changes occur. I feel that communication may improve a healing process because the child feels support. My future as an RN has to be improved by creating a compassionate environment for all patients, regardless of their age, gender, and race.

Cultural Considerations

Millions of people around the world live with asthma and have to manage their condition, following recommendations given by their care providers. Today, African Americans are defined as a vulnerable group in the asthma context, 10.7%, compared to Whites, 8% (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020). In addition, poverty ratings and the quality of living become serious triggers of the condition. Therefore, communication with patients has to be carefully organized and planned. There is no need to establish the impact of race on income levels. It is important to explain that African descent could have severe forms of asthma due to their clinical features.

Conclusion

In general, asthma is a chronic condition that has to be managed at its early stage. Children who are diagnosed with this disease have to use support from their parents, doctors, and nurses. It is necessary to control health change, report on new symptoms, and follow pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions. Black children with a relevant family history are frequently diagnosed with asthma. I, as a registered nurse, should learn asthma basics and know how to cooperate and communicate with patients and their families.

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). Most recent national asthma data. CDC. Web.

Larsson, K., Kankaanranta, H., Janson, C., Lehtimäki, L., Ställberg, B., Løkke, A., Høines, K., Roslind, K., & Ulrik, C. S. (2020). Bringing asthma care into the twenty-first century. Primary Care Respiratory Medicine, 30(1). Web.

Wu, T. D., Brigham, E. P., & McCormack, M. C. (2019). Asthma in the primary care setting. Medical Clinics of North America, 103(3), 435-452. Web.