Our vision is that respiratory illness is no longer a barrier to a full life. We would love to see a Waikato where no one has to worry about their breathing! We are working hard to educate people on respiratory illness to this end. 1 in 7 kids have asthma in NZ and 586,000 school days are lost to asthma every year. We want to make a difference to these statistics, keep kids in school, out of hospital and keeping up with their peers.
What We Do
We listen, we educate and we act – we make a difference!
- We educate - education helps you better understand what happens in your body when you get certain respiratory conditions, how your medication helps and highlights potential triggers
- We make it simple – we provide advice and tips to simplify how you manage your respiratory condition on a day to day basis – staying as well as you can possibly be
- We help you stop smoking - smoking cessation referrals and support are a focus for our nurses
- We are your voice – we link you with the right organisations to get your environment right e.g. liaising with landlords, Housing NZ etc. when damp, mouldy houses are causing respiratory symptoms
- We give you our time - many situations are complex e.g. multiple caregivers, complicated social issues, we spend as long as necessary with every client to get the best outcome.
Our Education Services
Home Education Services
Our nurses are mobile and can come to you and provide asthma education in your own home. This is particularly valuable for people who find travelling difficult or live a long way from Hamilton so are not able to attend our clinics. Visiting you at your home also enables us to identify potential asthma triggers more readily and give you valuable healthy home advice.
Asthma Waikato Clinic Education Services
Community Education Services
Group Education for the Community
By request, our nurses will also provide education sessions for groups of asthmatic children at schools, or education for teachers and caregivers at schools and child care centres. We are also happy to come along to other community gatherings and provide education to community groups as required, such as maraes on request. Please note, our ability to do this does depend on our workload so during the busy months of winter for example, there may be a wait until the spring, when it is quieter.
Asthma Friendly School Programme
Our Asthma Friendly Schools programme is free and aimed at ensuring teachers and staff in schools are informed, prepared and know what to do in an asthma emergency to ensure their students safety.
Our Respiratory Nurse Educator will cover such things as:
- What is asthma?
- How is it treated?
- What are the triggers?
- What to do in an emergency.
- Q & A
In order to be presented with an Asthma Friendly Schools Certificate, the following criteria needs to be met by the school:
- Completion of asthma education session by Asthma Waikato
- All children with asthma in the school identified by the school
- Asthma Action Plan in place for each child with asthma – we can help with this
- Asthma Emergency kit is up to date (provided by Asthma Waikato)
- 24 hour smoke-free school environment
- School recognises and seeks to reduce potential triggers
- School has an up to date asthma policy in place
Upon completion we will provide the school with:
- Asthma Friendly Schools Certificate
- Asthma in School First Aid Poster – laminated
- Asthma Emergency Kit – blue asthma bag containing spacer, Respigen, alcohol wipe, pen and info booklet.
- Asthma Action Plans for all children who don’t have one – for distribution by the school to parents for GP to fill in.
If you would like Asthma Waikato to come to your school, get in touch.
What to expect from an education session
We provide free one-to-one education or education for the whole family/whanau. A nurse will ask some questions about your asthma and your medications and your current management of the condition, then spend time with you explaining through the use of models of airways, posters, booklets and other means what happens during asthma, how it can better managed and give you valuable advice on changes you can make to help things.
They will go over with you:
- Assessment of respiratory control
- Pathophysiology of asthma/COPD
- Trigger identification and management
- Self-management plans for asthma and COPD
- Correct inhaler/spacer techniques
- Correct use of medications
- On-going review and follow-up education if required
- Smoking cessation advice
Whatever your support we are always thankful and it's always welcome.
Not that tech savvy? Would still like to make a donation or gift? Alternatively, you have ideas of how we might be able to help you help us continue working with people and families in the Waikato with asthma or COPD? Whatever it is, please don't hesitate to get in touch.