The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2012 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

THE IMPLEMENTATION OF AN IN-SCHOOL EDUCATION PROGRAM FOR CHILDREN WITH ASTHMA DEVELOPED BY RESPIRATORY THERAPY STUDENTS.

Kitty Hernlen, Susan Johnson, Randall Baker; georgia health sciences university, Augusta, GA

Background: A 2009 community needs assessment for the East Central Health District (ECHD) of Georgia determined there was a strong need for education for children with asthma. Senior respiratory therapy students from the Georgia Health Sciences University, under faculty guidance, developed an In-School Asthma Education Mini-Camp, for children ages 5- 14. The Asthma Mini-Camp program was implemented in three counties (Richmond, Warren and Emanuel). Methods: Lesson plans were developed for children ages 5-14 by senior respiratory therapy students. The plans covered anatomy, triggers, peak flow monitoring and medications. Each plan included a short lecture and an activity that reinforced the lesson. All asthmatic children were provided with a peak flow meter and holding chamber and were instructed in the use of each. Senior Respiratory Therapy students taught the program and junior students assisted with the activities. All lesson plans and activities were detailed in manuals to allow replication of the program in following years. The mini-camps were designed to last two hours. However, each school had different time constraints. School A allowed a 2 hour session for asthmatic students. School B requested all students attend the program during PE classes over a 2 day period. School C had small groups of asthmatic students attend the program during multiple sessions in one day. The senior students attended debriefing sessions with faculty and utilized blogs to recommend changes in the program and analyze their feelings about the Mini-Camp program. Results: 14 senior students and 9 junior students participated in the asthma mini-camps. 149 students with asthma and 304 non-asthmatic students attended the mini-camps. Respiratory therapy students reported a greater understanding of the need for asthma education among children and parents. They also reported a need for flexibility, creativity and visual aids in the delivery of the program. The students felt smaller groups worked best for the delivery of the asthma mini-camps. Conclusion: An asthma in-school education program requires flexibility in working with schools and in the delivery of the program. It can provide a real life learning experience for both the participants and the RT students. The asthma mini-camp project will be continued and delivered to several schools in the ECHD this fall. Sponsored Research - W.G. Raoul Foundation