Rose Smith is a registered respiratory therapist with Banner Thunderbird’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation program.
Question: What types of patients go to a Pulmonary Rehabilitation program?
Answer: Patients who go to pulmonary rehab generally have some type of chronic lung disease. Many of these patients have trouble performing their daily activities due to symptoms of a chronic lung disease. Even activities like vacuuming, making the bed, showering or bathing often become difficult. As activities become more difficult or impossible, de-conditioning of the muscles can occur due to lack of physical activity. Unfortunately, this downward spiral in health caused by chronic lung disease can be debilitating and adversely affect quality of life.
Question: In what ways can pulmonary rehab benefit patients?
Answer: A complete pulmonary rehabilitation program can teach patients how to control their lung disease instead of the disease controlling them. Through exercise and education quality of life can be improved. Daily activities often become easier. Some patients experience less shortness of breath, more stamina, less fatigue, even improved oxygenation. Additionally, patients network with other people who also suffer from lung disease.
Question: What will patients and their caregivers learn by participating in a Pulmonary Rehab program?
Answer: Patients learn that symptoms of chronic lung disease can sometimes be reversed by various methods taught in pulmonary rehab. Pulmonary Rehab offers education classes for patients and families about many aspects of lung disease like taking medications, nutrition, breathing properly, and bronchial hygiene.
Question: How long does the program last?
Answer: We preach here that exercise is for life, but insurance often covers up to 24 visits of pulmonary rehab. Pulmonary Rehab offers a maintenance exercise/education program once insurance coverage is exhausted, the patient can continue exercising here and attending education for an out-of-pocket charge. Many patients apply what they learn in pulmonary rehab and continue exercising on their own.
Question: Is pulmonary rehab covered by insurance?
Answer: Yes, most insurances cover pulmonary rehabilitation.