For her Community Health Nursing class last semester, Upstate nursing student Emily Glisson, RN, taught an asthma education program at a Syracuse elementary school.
Open Airways for Schools (OAS) was developed by the American Lung Association to help empower elementary school children with asthma to learn more about their disease and better manage it.
Emily works part-time at Upstate University Hospital and is enrolled in the RN-to-MS program in the College of Nursing, with a goal of becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner.
For the OAS curriculum, Emily and fellow student Sherri Adamo-Turner, RN, met six times with 14 students who have asthma.
“They learned a lot and really enjoyed it,” Emily said. “We focused on recognizing and avoiding asthma triggers like smoke, allergens and dust. We also focused on asthma warning signs and steps to take during an asthma episode.”
The students also learned how to manage their disease – how to use peak flow meters to monitor their lung function, and how to use spacers when they self-administer their inhalers. Each student received a free peak flow meter and spacer from the American Lung Association, Emily said.
The American Lung Association provided materials and a $25 gift card to buy the students a “graduation”” present.
To teach the curriculum, Emily and Sherri had to do online courses through the American Lung Association and attend a class session with an Open Airways representative.
“It was a great experience to be able to do this curriculum in a school and teach children about their asthma and how to manage it,” Emily said. “I had a great public health clinical experience, and I really enjoyed working with the kids, too.”