Over 20 million people in the United States are affected by asthma. Nurse practitioners are often charged with managing asthma patients during acute exacerbations. As part of this management, patients should be given a clear understanding of how and when to administer beta2-agonists, as rapid and effective treatment with beta2-agonists may be the key determinant of the clinical outcome in acute bronchospasm.
Margaret A. Fitzgerald is the President of Fitzgerald Health Education Associates, Inc., North Andover Mass., and Adjunct Faculty in the Family Practice Residency Program, Greater Lawrence (Mass.) Family Health Center.