Getting out and about in the community

In October I attended a community education session, where I was lucky enough to present to a group of mothers of pre-schoolers on asthma and asthma management. As it was my first presentation on behalf of Asthma Waikato I found it exciting, and I’m pleased to say that it was a success. I feel very privileged to have met such an awesome group of women! 

Mothers of Pre-schoolers (MOPS) is a community group where mothers can come together to discuss all aspects of motherhood, and take part in arts, crafts, and education sessions. Activate Church in Hamilton host a MOPS group every alternate week. They asked us to come along and provide some education about asthma, including symptom management, recognition of triggers, and medication management. Activate MOPS were incredibly welcoming and accommodating, and I thoroughly enjoyed being able to host a Q&A session at the end of my presentation to ensure I was able to answer their questions and tell them everything they needed to know. Thanks MOPS for being such a fun and interactive group! http://www.mops.org/

Since our MOPS presentation, we have been rolling out a few community education sessions in between catching up with our patient referrals. On the 14th November, we visited Ngati Haua School to provide education to kids with asthma, and we invited their whanau and teachers to attend also. 

Ngati Haua is a small, rural school with a population of kids with asthma. The staff and students were all very welcoming, and joined me in one of their classrooms for an education session on asthma. The students of Ngati Haua did a great job of answering questions and participating in the presentation. We talked about what asthma is, how it makes them feel, when to take their inhalers, and what to do in an emergency, plus more! 

One of the key things we spoke about was making sure that each child had an asthma buddy at school that knew what to do if their friend was experiencing symptoms of asthma and needed a teacher to bring them their inhaler. We also talked about when and how to take their inhalers, and I was really impressed at their knowledge and compliance with using a spacer. Studies have shown that using a spacer increases the effectiveness of asthma medication by 70%! So it’s awesome to see everyone using them. 

After our presentation, we gave each of the children with asthma one of our blue asthma bags, with a blank action plan, information on Asthma and Asthma Waikato, and a letter to their whanau inside of it. They absolutely loved these, and agreed that this would be a great way to keep their inhaler and spacer together and with them at all times.

If your school or community group would like Asthma Waikato to come and visit for an education session, please get in touch with us.

By Elyse Jones, Respiratory Nurse Educator


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