The Certified Asthma Educator (AE-C): Opting for a Standard of Excellence in Asthma Care

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Journal of Asthma and Allergy Educators


Introduction: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that the number of individuals with asthma in the United States has increased by 4.3 million, or 12.3%, between 2001 and 2009, creating an increasing burden on our health care system. Effective patient education is a key component of asthma management. The National Asthma Educator Certification Board (NAECB) promotes "optimal asthma management and quality of life by advancing excellence in asthma education through the Certified Asthma Educator process." Methods: Following completion of the asthma educator certification examination, applicants were invited to participate in a voluntary, anonymous Web-based survey. The survey was developed and approved by the Executive and Research Committees of the NAECB, with the objective of reviewing the experience of applicants seeking initial certification and of those seeking recertification. Results: Completed surveys were obtained from 988 applicants. Seventy-six percent of respondents were first-time test takers; the remaining respondents were repeat test takers. Eighty percent reported having passed the examination. Approximately 85% felt that the time allotted for the examination was "just right"; the level of difficulty was " just right" for 65% of the respondents, and the clarity of the examination questions was rated as "good" or "excellent" by 72% of the respondents. Seventy-two percent responded that the examination reflected the role of the asthma educator and 88.1% would recommend the examination to others interested in asthma education. Open-ended responses highlighted benefits and barriers. Discussion: The asthma educator certification examination is reflective of the professional responsibilities of the asthma educator. Benefits and barriers are discussed in the context of published literature. © 2012 The Author(s).

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