As respiratory therapists, we all know COPD patients who were diagnosed with their disease when it was too late to make a real difference in the course of their care. National COPD Awareness Month gives all of us the perfect opportunity to make sure more people learn they have COPD while there is still time to impact its progression.
AARC Executive Director and CEO Thomas Kallstrom, MBA, RRT, FAARC, already got a head start on that objective in September when he was interviewed by the NPR station out of Dallas, TX, about COPD, who is most likely to get the disease, and why it is so important for people who have the condition to stop smoking and seek treatment.
We hope everyone will follow Tom’s lead by getting out into their communities as well—but COPD Month is also the perfect time to brush up on your own knowledge of COPD and how it is best treated so you can provide the best care possible for your patients.
Here are a few resources to help you get started down both paths—
- Organize a screening event in your hospital or your community using the COPD Foundation’s simple five question COPD Population Screener. Now online, the screener can easily be loaded onto tablet devices, making the screening process quick and easy.
- Share the AARC’s A Patient’s Guide to Aerosol Drug Deliverywith your patients who have COPD. Written by leaders in aerosolized medication delivery, the guide includes everything a patient needs to know to get the most out of his inhaled medications.
- Make sure you’re on top of the latest in aerosol delivery devices as well by reading our Guide to Aerosol Delivery Devices for the Respiratory Therapist—and share our Guide to Aerosol Delivery Devices for Physicians, Nurses, Pharmacists and Other Health Care Professionals with your colleagues outside of respiratory care too. Both can be found on our Aerosol Resources page.
- Now that hospitals with excessive readmissions for COPD are subject to penalties, facilities are looking for ways to ensure COPD patients stay out of the revolving door. Our COPD Educator Course can provide you with the knowledge you need to be a COPD disease manager in your hospital.
- Alpha-1 is the leading genetic cause of COPD and we have addressed the special considerations involved in this condition in our Alpha-1 Course. Everything from pathobiology to optimal management to emerging therapies is covered.
- We also have a Guide to Portable Oxygen Concentrators that can help you get up to speed on the portable systems out there today and how they can help your COPD patients who require supplemental oxygen enjoy a more mobile and higher quality of life.
We’ll be posting COPD-related messages on our Facebook and Twitter pages throughout November as well, and AARC members are encouraged to “share” these posts with their Facebook friends and “re-tweet” them to their Twitter feeds. You can also harness the power of social media by coming up with Facebook posts and tweets of your own that convey the COPD awareness message.
The best day to flood Facebook and Twitter with COPD-related posts would be Wed., Nov. 19. That’s when we’ll mark World COPD Day and the whole world will be watching!