Samantha Layer LaVonda Hildreth Katie HarrisSamantha Layer, LaVonda Hildreth, Katie HarrisUAB Respiratory Therapy students did not clown around this summer at Camp WheezeAway. Samantha Layer, LaVonda Hildreth and Katie Harris joined more than 20 other UAB students at the Asthma Camp for Kids at YMCA Camp Chandler.

“The purpose of this camp is to show the kids that they can do anything other children can do,” said Harris. “We also emphasized the importance of establishing a schedule with their respiratory medications, to recognize the signs of an oncoming asthma attack and what to do if they suffer an attack.”

The students, all studying in the Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences, began each morning at 7 a.m. by helping the kids check their peak flow meters. The peak flow meter is a device that checks air flow in the lungs and measures their peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR). They also monitored medications, checked inhaler techniques, taught educational sessions and spent the day by the kids’ side during activities. They would end the day with another peak flow check at 7 p.m.

“We LOVED camp!” said Harris. “Just being able to have fun and participate in all their activities was a fulfilling and great experience that I would love to do again. The kids were a delight.”

READ MORE: UAB RT students green light hope for children with asthma

At the end of camp, the UAB students created posters detailing their accomplishments and entered them into the UAB EXPO. The 8th annual Exposition of Undergraduate Scholarship featured 69 teams and more than 100 students showing off their dedication to education.

Alexis RaybonAlexis RaybonThe UAB School of Health Professions had 10 teams competing in the competition. Nine are from the Respiratory Therapy program and one, Alexis Raybon, is from the Department of Occupational Therapy’s Low Vision Rehabilitation Graduate Certificate.

READ MORE: Majority of Low-Vision specialists are UAB graduates

At the end of the day, the RT team of Layer, Hildreth and Harris, with their poster titled “Don’t Clown Around with Asthma,” took first place in the Service Learning & HAC Projects category.

“I believe our poster won because we were very passionate and purposeful with our delivery of answers to the questions the judges asked us. I felt like we connected with the judges almost on a personal level,” said Harris. “We also showed how hard we worked at making sure those kids understood the elements of asthma and that they were allowed to have fun and not be restricted by their condition.”

SEE MORE: Photos from the 2014 UAB EXPO are on our Flickr page