Parkland’s Respiratory Therapy Club showed up in fine fashion at the 16th Annual Car Show Saturday, teaching the public about lung health. The air we breathe is very important; exposing our lungs to noxious materials, chemicals, and gases can cause irreversible damage and may lead to lung disease.
Hundreds of spectators came out to the free Car Show, so it was a great venue to tell people how they can keep their lungs healthy–and we did this in fun ways! One team of students handed out fact sheets at our booth in front of the Parkhill Applied Technology Center. Another team conducted our Peak Flow Contest. Peak flow is a tool to measure how forcefully we can exhale while we’re breathing. Everyone who measured their “windiness” put their name in the drawing for great prizes donated by local businesses. (A third team of RT students had been responsible for finding those sponsors; they did a great job.) Finally, we sold soft drinks at the event to raise funds for the club.
Besides having a fun day at the auto show, our students were able to develop leadership and teamwork skills through the process. Most importantly, they learned the importance of service learning; they educated the public about lung disease in general, mostly concentrating on occupational hazards in our lives. These hazards can include exposures in certain workplaces (farming, welding, mining, even some factory workers may be at risk) as well as hobbies that introduce noxious substances into the lungs–hobbies using chemical solvents, different materials, and gases.
Please be aware of the air you’re breathing: Stay in well-ventilated areas, wear masks approved for the type of work that you’re doing (respirators), and stop to get fresh air when you feel lightheaded.