Helping families breathe easier

  • New fortnightly pediatric respiratory hub opening at NMTAFE Mt Lawley campus as part of the colleges’ Roaming Education and Community Health (REACH) program
  • Dedicated to supporting families and their children it is a one-stop-shop for lung testing, specialist consultations and asthma education by Asthma WA
  • NMTAFE Diploma of Nursing students will gain a valuable understanding of the impacts of asthma on children’s health

North Metro TAFE (NMTAFE) is proud to partner with Asthma WA to open its third metropolitan Children’s Asthma Hub which is a pediatric respiratory health-focused clinic for children. The REACH program is a training and primary health initiative delivering services to the community while providing training opportunities to enrolled nursing students.

Dedicated to supporting families and their children 4 to 18 years of age, the Hub is conveniently located at our Mt Lawley campus. The one-stop-shop means families will be able to consult with various health care professionals including a pediatric respiratory specialist and meet with an Asthma WA Respiratory Health Nurse all in one appointment and location.

A clinic visit would include lung function testing as well as valuable asthma education and advice in managing the condition. As part of their primary health care placement hours, NMTAFE Diploma of Nursing students under supervision will support the specialised health care team through each of the elements of a clinic visit, gaining valuable insight into the health implications of asthma.

One in nine Australians (2.7 million) are living with asthma including 237 000 in Western Australia. This figure is almost twice as high in our indigenous community. The Hub hopes to reduce hospitalisations through education support and by encouraging sufferers to have an Asthma Action Plan in place.

Diagnosis of asthma can be difficult, often requiring several appointments to bridge different health professionals across hospital and community services. In these cases, families need to take time off work and school, deal with waiting lists and sometimes travel to and from hospital clinics. The Hub’s services are bulk billed and aim to alleviate some of the stress and expense associated with long wait lists in a convenient, friendly and accessible environment.

“We’re very excited to have this wonderful opportunity to partner with NMTAFE to provide this much-needed care and support to families and their children with asthma in our community,” says Rael Rivers, Learning & Development Manager, Asthma WA. “Our aim is to help families manage this chronic condition, reduce the stress associated with obtaining a diagnosis as well as provide essential advice on how best to manage the condition. This additional location provides another central yet convenient location for our community to access as well” adds Ms Rivers.

Helen Hull, Director of Nursing at NMTAFE said; ‘We are very grateful for the opportunity to work with Asthma WA; having the clinic on campus, where our students can learn first-hand from families living with the challenges of asthma and what it is really like, as well as engaging with the various health care professionals is an incredibly valuable learning experience.’

A GP referral is required prior to making an appointment and doctors are encouraged to use the online form available on the Asthma WA website. The Children’s Asthma Hub is for children aged 4 to 18 years and will be held on Mondays on a fortnightly basis, alternating with an adult clinic.

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