HCA Role in Management of Asthma & COPD in Primary Care

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Course Delivery & Duration

The module begins with a mandatory one-day workshop followed by 16 weeks of self-managed study. The accredited course can be used as part of our Cert. HE Primary Care qualification.

Notional Study Time 200 hours
Duration 16 weeks

Suitable For

Health Care Assistant


Teesside University UCCE HCA Role in Management of Asthma & COPD in Primary Care 20 Credits Level 4

Outline Content

The HCA Role in Management of Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in Primary Care.

This module is completed in 16 weeks. It is designed for experienced primary health care assistants who wish to expand their role and gain new knowledge and skills in recognition and management of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the primary care environment. The content covers an overview of what asthma and COPD is; methods used to diagnose, an introduction to types of treatments used including the correct use of inhalers and lifestyle measures to reduce the causes and exacerbation of the conditions.

Students accessing the module must have completed basic training in the role of the health care assistant at academic Level 3 or equivalent and be employed for a minimum of 15 hours a week as a Health Care Assistant in a primary care environment. Prior to acceptance onto the module, students should identify a registered nurse mentor who will support them in the clinical environment. The mentor will be sent a mentor guide detailing the requirements of the course and the responsibility they will have in signing off the student competencies. The mentor must sign a declaration of support before the student can commence the module. The training centre will also provide support to the mentors via phone or email throughout the module.

As part of the assessment involves writing an essay, it is important that students have a good ability to write clearly in English. You must be able to complete the Literacy & Numeracy Assessment Tools at the Skills for Health website.

Learning Outcomes

  • Explain the differences between asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
  • Gather and record information to assess the care and ongoing management of a patient with asthma/COPD.
  • Recognise the evolving and developing role of the health care assistant in the management of asthma/COPD.
  • Be able to act under direction to support the care of a patient with asthma/COPD.
  • Perform and explain the technique for recording peak flow measurements.
  • Demonstrate safe and effective use of different types of inhalers.
  • Recognise environmental, personal and lifestyle factors that may exacerbate the conditions of asthma and COPD.
  • Demonstrate writing skills appropriate to the level of study.

Section Headings

  • Anatomy and Physiology of the respiratory system
  • The definition of asthma
  • The definition of COPD
  • Symptoms associated with asthma/COPD
  • The use of peak flow in diagnosis of the conditions
  • The role of spirometry in diagnosis
  • Lifestyle, personal and environmental factors associated with asthma/COPD
  • Types of inhalers used in the management of asthma/COPD
  • Boundaries and role of the HCA in asthma and COPD management
  • National guidelines in asthma and COPD
  • Accountability
  • Introduction to academic writing


Students will complete a competency-based booklet within the clinical setting alongside the registered nurse mentor. The competencies are adapted from Skills for Health Competency RESP 2 and CHS71.

Students on the accredited course will also complete an essay (maximum of 2,000 words) based on the activities within the course workbook, focusing on the role of the health care assistant in the review and management of people with asthma and COPD.