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What do you do, Ashira?

Ashira is an asthma clinical nurse specialist
Colourful question marks drawn by a child

An asthma clinical nurse specialist at Evelina LondonSeptember 2021

What is your current role?

I am one half of Evelina London's asthma clinical nurse specialist (CNS) team. I work alongside other health professionals including doctors, physiotherapists and pharmacists to support and empower children, young people and families to manage asthma. Asthma is a long-term condition that affects the airways carrying air in and out of the lungs.

My primary role is to educate children, young people and families about how to manage asthma symptoms. I work in the emergency department, children's short stay unit, outpatient clinics and mostly on Mountain ward.

What is your passion?

My passion is making sure that every child and young person diagnosed with asthma receives the same level of training and education. I want to empower them to make the right decisions. This will make sure they become a young adult who understands their symptoms, medicines, what triggers their asthma to become worse and when to seek medical attention. 

What was your proudest moment?

Helping patients understand their condition makes me feel very proud. For example, I recall helping one very frightened ten-year-old-girl understand what asthma was, how to manage her symptoms and how to take medication during an admission for a severe, life-threatening asthma attack using picture cards and play therapy. Two years on, she recalls all the information I taught her and really understands her role in managing her asthma. She has not needed to stay at the hospital since. She lives a full and very sporty childhood, with no restrictions due to her asthma and even dreams of being an asthma doctor one day.

What is Ask About Asthma and why is it important?

We see the highest number of hospital stays for asthma at the start of the new school year in September. This is when the Healthy London Partnership and the NHS in London, supported by the Mayor of London, run an annual #AskAboutAsthma campaign.

This is an important campaign that encourages all children and young people with asthma to have an asthma management plan to make sure they can use their inhalers well. The campaign also encourages them to have an annual asthma review.

Being part of Evelina London means…

Striving to be the best nurse I can be in a supportive and caring environment with amazing colleagues.

Colourful question marks drawn by a child

Thank you to the children and young people who have so brilliantly illustrated our blog pages.

What do you do?

We love highlighting our staff and their amazing career journeys.

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