If you are coping with COPD, asthma or another chronic lung problem, you may benefit from a new Pulmonary Rehabilitation program at St. Mary’s that is specifically focused on breathing issues.
“Our goal is to help patients experience an improvement in their overall breathing and quality of life,” says Registered Respiratory Therapist Rachel Henry, RRT. This is achieved through a combination of exercises and education specially tailored to each patient’s needs.
The outpatient program is offered on the first floor of the hospital and meets twice a week, in small groups of up to six patients. Over a course of 18 sessions, patients are supported in managing their condition and achieving their individual goals.
“For some people, this may mean keeping up with the grandkids or performing household tasks with greater ease,” Henry notes. Certain exercises and breathing strategies can offer many patients relief from breathing problems, she notes. Getting support as soon as possible can promote optimal results.
Patients in the program receive hands-on, individualized care. Henry is supported by two registered nurses and additional nursing help, if needed, to ensure a personalized experience. Patients may use different exercise equipment at the hospital, as well as learn about exercises and lifestyle changes they can implement at home.
There is also a component of camaraderie that comes from being with others who are experiencing similar issues. “Our goal is to provide a supportive setting for our patients and help them achieve the best quality of life possible,” Henry says.
Patients may be referred to the Pulmonary Rehabilitation program by their physician upon completion of a pulmonary function test (PFT). Talk with your doctor if you are experiencing breathing difficulties or feel you may benefit from pulmonary rehabilitation.