Mission Moment: Laura Bryant, RN

(February 27, 2013)

Picture of Laura BryantLaura B. Bryant is a Registered Nurse at Mt. Pleasant Elementary in Cabarrus County, NC. For 10 years, Laura has been an American Lung Association Open Airways for Schools® (OAS) program facilitator. Through a partnership between her elementary school district and the Cabarrus Health Alliance, school nurses are encouraged to teach their students the importance of lung health. In particular, Laura is inovled in the OAS program by organizing sessions and facilitating the asthma management program to children living with asthma. Further more, Laura follows up with her students to make sure that students are using the information they learned in OAS to successfully manage their asthma.

Laura's passion for asthma education is driven through the interaction with her students. "Personally, it has made me feel good being able to help students with asthma," says Laura. "I am able to teach them and know that I am making a difference in ways such as helping them learn about their triggers. Also, I am able to learn how children may self-manage their own episodes, or with another adult at school, or with their parents at home in oder to take care of their asthma symptoms. Overall, I feel joy and a sense of accomplishment knowing that I have given my students the tools to help manage their respiratory disease."

In closing, Laura stresses to the children in her programs that they should have close follow-up and collaboration with their healthcare provider. In addition, students should communicate any asthmatic indicators with their parents, teachers, school nurses and coaches so they can work together as a collaborative team. "Just because this student has this diagnosis does not mean that he/she can not do what other kids are able to do. Asthmatic children can enjoy everything that life has to offer, as well," says Laura.