Pulmonary rehabilitation is a comprehensive outpatient exercise and education program for individuals with symptomatic lung disease. The purpose of a program is to reduce and control the symptoms and complications related to lung disease as well as improve the individual's functional status and enhance his or her quality of life.
About the Program
A team of physicians, registered nurses, exercise physiologists, registered dietitians and registered respiratory care practitioners develop an individualized program based upon results of pulmonary function and stress tests, medical history, personal needs and goals. A customized exercise program is developed based on the participant's abilities and limitations.
This generally includes training of arm and leg muscles to enhance your performance of routine daily activities as well as breathing that includes retraining and strengthen your breathing muscles. During each exercise session, all activities should be carefully structured and monitored.
- Continuous EKG monitoring via telemetry
- Pulse Oximetry (oxygen monitor)
- Blood Pressure Checks
Education plays an essential role in this program and is usually provided through group and individual interaction. Family members should be encouraged to participate.
Some of the topics covered in most programs include:
- Nutrition and Lung Disease
- Breathing Retraining
- Infection Control/Bronchial Hygiene
- Oxygen Use
- Respiratory Medications
- Stress Management
- Energy Conservation
Every participant should meet with a registered dietitian to address any individual needs.
Participants attend sessions two to three times each week. The length of the program varies and depends on individualized needs and program goals.
How to get Started
Talk to your physician. Pulmonary function tests are required and a stress test may be necessary prior to participation. A written referral from a physician is required. The next step is to schedule an intake interview where a medical health history is obtained and individualized goals are established.
Most insurance carriers cover the cost of this program. You should check with your insurance carrier regarding coverage for pulmonary rehabilitation.
Capital Health's Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Wellness Center is currently closed, however, we can provide you with information about currently operating programs in the area.
For more information about pulmonary rehabilitation programs in the area, please call Capital Health Medical Center - Hopewell at 609-537-7260.