Take the ‘mis’ out of diagnosis, new online spirometry training

Asthma Australia is now offering an online course in Spirometry training set to take the guesswork out of diagnosing respiratory conditions in general practice.

Spirometry testing is currently underutilised, despite being the best standard and most objective measurement of airflow limitation required to confirm a diagnosis of asthma and COPD.

Asthma is one of the top five chronic conditions patients present with to General Practitioners, according to a NPS MedicineWise, General Practice Insights Report 2017/18.

Until recently, only in-person spirometry training was available in Australia by a select handful of providers, greatly limiting capacity. The onset of the Coronavirus pandemic has encouraged an advantageous transition to self-guided online education, removing physical barriers and time constraints including for respiratory health.

The online spirometry training offered by Asthma Australia comprises of seven, one-hour modules which can be completed over three months (from date of enrolment) and accrues self-guided education Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points.

CEO of Asthma Australia Michele Goldman said spirometry training was something that had been requested by health professionals who had completed their accredited ThinkGP asthma training modules.

“It makes sense to offer this vitally important practical training to increase the use of spirometry in practice and we’re delighted to partner with the Spirometry Training Company to deliver this training package.  Health professionals are busy, so no matter where they work, they can access training and complete it in their own time to deliver precision care to people with asthma,” CEO Michele Goldman said.

Respiratory nurse of 20 years and lead Asthma Educator at Asthma Australia, Gemma Crawley said gaining and maintaining competence in performing and interpreting spirometry in general practice has been challenging.

“In the past face-to-face training was harder to access particularly for those living and working in rural and remote communities.   I see this training benefitting all GP practices but in particular regional and remote nurses servicing Indigenous communities. Specialist care is hard to access, and the prevalence of asthma is higher and even more so for Indigenous people. A spirometer and accessible training will go a long way to help improve respiratory health in these communities,” she said.

The release of Asthma Australia’s spirometry training comes just months after Asthma Australia partnered with Reed Medical Education to create a series of free accredited asthma education training modules for allied health professionals, via the ThinkGP online platform. The platform has proven as highly successful.

More information on the new Spirometry training  and ThinkGP training can be found via the Asthma Australia website.