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Workplace and asthma


I am going to sign up with an agency to do supply work in schools. I have already mention my asthma when they asked about disabilities in my screening phone call. I said it is moderate asthma but well controlled at the moment. However this I hadn't mentioned can get worse in autumn/winter due to the changing weather i.e the cold or the possibility of catching a could make it worse (this January came down with a cold which gave me an asthma attack). I have never been in this positionbefore in terms of working. First time back into the workplace after many years at home being a full time mum I didn't have asthma the last time I worked. Advice please.

8 Replies

Most asthmatics get worse in winter ive worked for 28 years without any time off for my asthma so don't worry just keep it under control.

in reply to greggs

Thanks for the advice. I am not worried just want to get it right and want to know how to say it without sounding alarming. I think I did when I said it is moderate asthma and is well controlled at the moment.


I'm also a teacher & have had a few issues, so I think there's probably good & bad to consider.

First of all, having had asthma all my life, I've managed to hold down jobs with relatively low sickness levels for over 30 years (this was in my previous job - I retrained after redundancy a couple of years ago). So you should approach it with a mindset of being well, being functional & having a lot to offer in the workplace, albeit you might have to occasional 'off-day'. I probably shouldn't say this, but I've worked with enough non-asthmatics to know the world is full of people whose life is one long off-day so don't worry too much!

In terms of schools, I guess you'll get different experiences. I had a horrible head teacher recently who basically drove me out of the school because he thought I was unfit, but am now in a massively supportive school, so I'm sure that as things progress, you will be judged on your teaching & not your breathing :)

Dear Minushabens

I have great respect for you teachers but I not one just hoping to be a teaching assistant. I have been many things over the years nanny, creche worker, play scheme worker , after school worker and nursery nurse. The best job of all is being a mum followed closely by being a brownie leader.

I have every intention of being fit and well. I try be in the best health I can and keep as fit as I can. Having two long health conditions to deal with was a curve ball I never saw coming. (Painful Bladder syndrome) I love children hence the best jobs we do for free ie. brownie Leader and plus I do anything for a badge.

From being not well I have learned to not push it and sometimes have the day off (much easier with teenagers). This was yesterday when I had a throbbing headache all day and just had to not go to aqua circuits or pilates.

I must use wisdom with what I take on and not let my enthusiasm sweep me away. So I go forward with a bit of nerves but excited on what I can do. Thank you folks

It sounds to me like you will be fine! Key will be building a good relationship with your class teacher(s). Obviously, you can't say for sure you'll get someone good, but if a teacher understands that you might have days when you're short of breath, they can structure your day & activities on those occasions when you might need it - which hopefully will only be rare occasions.

thanks that is very good advice. As I will be doing supply I can tailor my work to how I feeling. Flu jab on Monday so thats covered. There has been a cold in my family but I haven't got it thank you God. God bless.

I was working at a school as a TA had to give it up as caught all the bugs off the children and ended up with numerous chest infections

I sorry to hear that kids can be a bug city. However I was know as a child "as the home for homeless germs" as my mum was very fond of saying. I just had my flu jab and have a sore arm but nothing else. I have three daughter and an unit of brownie to spread their germs on. Haven't had a chest infection for along time. So I hope and pray all this will keep me well guarded from the bugs this Winter.

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