Janine Lourensz

I joined Asthma Australia as I have always enjoyed the realm of preventative health – keeping people well, managing their own health and wellbeing, and avoiding hospital admissions; my role as an Asthma Educator within Asthma Australia has provided me with the ideal platform to do what I enjoy and to develop my skills specific to asthma education.

I thrive on the interaction that I have with our callers – they help inform me, and therefore Asthma Australia, about their needs and experiences which is paid forward to assist future callers. It is always a privilege to listen to a person’s story, learning from them as much as it is about sharing our knowledge and stories to help guide them to a life of breathing easier.

Our callers come from all walks of life – sometimes they feel unsure about talking to us as they feel they should know more about their own condition. I often find out the caller has had asthma since they were young, when their parents managed their health, or they were vaguely diagnosed as an adult; no-one has explained asthma or the most up-to-date management to them since.

Witnessing the change in confidence by clarifying the basics and empowering self-management with each caller is hugely satisfying and motivating. This includes callers who, now that they have improved and maintained their asthma management, are no longer worried about travelling overseas, or about how to manage their symptoms during Spring.

Reassuring parents managing their children’s asthma symptoms with evidence-based information or guiding a relative on the asthma care of their loved one to provide a better quality of life for people are both typical scenarios encountered daily.

At times I can hear relief of some callers who feel that they are being provided the answers to so many of their questions, whether that’s about their diagnosis, their symptoms, medications or how to use their medication devices. Being part of our caller’s health care continuum is an honour that we are able to keep through 1800 ASTHMA and The COACH Program® – a team I’m proud to be a member of.