Outpatient Pulmonary Rehab, located just inside the MRI entrance near the NHRMC helicopter pad, offers multiple sessions a day, five days a week. Participants usually come for a minimum of one hour, two to three days a week for up to 10 weeks. Patients may continue in the Rehab program on a self-pay basis in order to maintain their health.
- Lung anatomy and lung disease
- Breathing retraining and Inspiratory Muscle Training
- Oxygen therapy
- Activities of daily living
- Signs and symptoms of infection
- Stress management
- Panic control
- Anxiety and depression
- Travel with oxygen
An individualized exercise prescription is written for each participant following exercise testing, which may include Pulmonary Function Testing, Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing or a six-minute walk. The exercise prescription provides guidelines including target heart rate, MET levels and intensity of exercise on specified equipment. Our goal is for each patient to complete 50 minutes of aerobic exercise along with strength training. Each individual prescription is increased as tolerated by the patient.
The capacity of patients to successfully adapt to the enormous challenges associated with chronic lung disease is a major determinant of their quality of life. Classes on anxiety, depression and stress are given. Participants also meet with a psychiatric clinical nurse specialist. Group interaction and support is also very beneficial in helping patients accept and adjust to lung disease. If additional counseling is needed, the patient will be referred.
Primary emphasis is placed on respiratory drugs and their proper use, including oxygen. However, it is equally important for patients to understand the proper use of all their medications. Our registered nurse meets with each patient to review all medications. A major outcome measure of patient responsibility in self-care is adhering to their medication regime.
Forty to sixty percent of patients with COPD have problems maintaining proper nutrition. Many are underweight due to the increased caloric needs caused by difficult breathing, while others are overweight due to steroids and sedentary lifestyle. A nutrition class is offered to participants. Those needing further evaluation and counseling are seen by the nutritionist or referred to other resources.
Positive Attitude to Succeed
Many patients referred to our services arrive depressed, angry and anxious. The stress of every day life with lung disease has left them feeling hopeless. It is very humbling to watch their courage to confront so many challenges for daily life. Providing them with knowledge, exercise to strengthen, and support by both staff and other patients provides the participant with the tools to manage their disease and have a positive attitude for success.