Your patient is afraid of pulmonary rehabilitation.

Let's fix that.

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Melissa Egts, Inventor


Your patient is afraid of pulmonary rehabilitation. But you really, really want to persuade them to try it. Here’s some points you can make to help them make the decision to get moving with the support of a pulmonary rehabilitation program.

First, it feels so good to move. It’s what our bodies are designed for. Moving helps bring a sense of normalcy back into life.

Second, gains. Your patient likely feels so physically bad, they can’t even conceive how much better they could feel. Perhaps they’ve given up. Remind them with consistent exercise, mobility gets easier. Many studies point to gains in mood with exercise, too.

​Third, comfort. I get a lot of air trapping because my lungs can get air in but they can’t get all the air back out. It's like how a balloon feels right before it pops. Exercise helps empty my lungs of the “bad” air so I can take deeper breaths and eliminates the discomfort. Being short of breath also makes me feel uncomfortable. Exercise helps and that’s the message of hope your patient needs to hear.

Fourth, support. Your patient feels like they are struggling alone with their disease. They fear being judged for being out of shape. Let them know the respiratory therapists who run the programs make sure patients are comfortable with the exercises and are there to adjust oxygen levels or suggest rest as needed. No one will ask them to do anything extreme. Most of the machines are non-weight bearing and they can sit while they exercise. And they’ll likely rotate among exercise machines. That means the patient will never have to plod along on a machine they hate. 

Fifth, socialization. Reassure them of the supportive atmosphere and the ability to exercise with other people using oxygen. I know the first time I went through pulmonary rehabilitation it was a relief to be around other oxygen users and not feel like everyone was looking at me and the nasal cannula running across my face. Your patient will want to know that, too. Plus, the respiratory therapists running the exercise session checks the patient's blood pressure and oxygen levels before and during your patient's exercise session. For me, this reduced the fear that I was exercising with low oxygen levels, which I know can hurt my heart. The level of care is extraordinary and I made a lot of friends.

I don't know who needs to hear this, but if you have a patient who is having a hard time maintaining their blood oxygen levels talk to them about pulmonary rehabilitation from their perspective. You can also message me and I'll try to help

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