In response to a community need, Mercy St. Charles Hospital has opened a Pulmonary Rehab Clinic.
The clinic sees patients with debilitating conditions such as obstructive lung disease, pulmonary fibrosis, chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Clinic staff members strive to focus on how best to address each patient’s unique needs and circumstances. Evaluations are completed in the morning Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and rehab sessions are offered from 1- 4:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
“I develop a plan of care for each patient based on his or her individual needs,” said Rebecca Montgomery, coordinator of Pulmonary Rehab at St. Charles. “During the initial evaluation, I get information about the patient’s medical history, medications, limitations and goals. I send the plan of care to the ordering physician for approval, and then we start the therapy sessions and progress at a pace that is right for each patient.”
“In addition to providing rehab, I educate the patients about their disease so they can better understand and manage it,” Montgomery said. “We talk about the disease process, how their medications work and proper breathing techniques and how to apply them with exercise and daily exertion.
“The goal is to help patients increase pulmonary muscle strength,” she said. “This will provide the beginning steps to assist in regaining peripheral strength and activities of daily living.
“One of the benefits of a rehab program like this is that I see these patients three times a week for up to two hours at a time, and this gives me the opportunity to get to know them and to recognize their needs,” Montgomery said. “If I see the need to include another discipline such as physical therapy or social services, I can contact these specialties and include them in the care of the individual. We also provide group therapy sessions, creating an automatic social/support group.”
To learn more about the Pulmonary Rehab Clinic at St. Charles, call 419-696-7375.