In January 2018, CYPHP asthma nurses joined forces with school nurses from Lambeth and Southwark primary schools to provide an asthma training session to local school staff. Hosted at Durand Academy, nearly 100 teachers and teaching assistants benefitted from the training.
Why is this important?
Asthma is the most common long-term condition among children. We know that asthma outcomes can be poor, and there’s a lot we could do to improve things. Since they spend so much time at school, it is really important that staff know how to manage asthma, have an understanding of what it is and what to do if a child in their class has an asthma attack.
What did the training include?
The training included information on asthma, what it is, what triggers an asthma attack, recognising the signs and symptoms of an asthma attack, how asthma is treated, when to call for an ambulance, and top tips for your school. Staff specifically found knowing about common mistakes made with inhaler technique, and the important reasons why a spacer must be used, along with tips to improve technique particularly helpful. These learning points were reinforced by an interactive session, where staff learnt practical skills on how to give an inhaler using an age-appropriate spacer to a child.
Another helpful segment included the top tips for school. This covered what schools can do to ensure that children with asthma are safe to be in school, including making sure that every child has an up to date personal asthma action plan that everyone who needs to know is aware of and can access, that every child has their own Salbutamol inhaler and appropriate spacer device.
We suggested that staff could attend regular training updates to know about which pupils have asthma, and what to do to help. We suggested that the school could buy an emergency salbutamol inhaler from their local pharmacy, for use in an emergency situation if the child’s own inhaler was not available.
What did everyone think about the training?
“It is great to be able to work in partnership with specialists in asthma (The CYPHP team) to deliver training in managing asthma in our schools. Working together means that the teaching staff receive up to date evidenced based information and we are able to respond to questions about managing asthma within the school environment jointly. Kevin was flexible and was able to accommodate a number of sessions to cover a school based across to different sites, this ensured all teaching groups were reached. The information was clear with practical demonstrations, using different types of learning styles.” Anonymous school nurse
“We found these sessions at Durand Academy very informative and they gave us a better understanding of how asthma can be managed in schools, and what information is important to teachers and teaching assistants in being able to manage children with asthma. The more people that know what to do and how to manage the situation, the better.” Kevin Farrell, CYPHP Asthma Specialist Nurse