Chronic lung disease patients depend on respiratory therapists to get them through the acute exacerbations caused by their conditions. But these patients need RTs to help them after the acute episode is over too, and that’s where pulmonary rehabilitation comes into play.
These life-enhancing programs show patients how they can live well despite chronic lung disease and, increasingly, they are being credited with keeping patients healthy and out of the costly acute care setting.
This is the week to celebrate those programs and the dedicated RTs who staff them. Sponsored by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, Pulmonary Rehabilitation Week is designed to let the nation know how important PR programs are to the health and well-being of lung disease patients.
It’s also a good time to take a closer look at some of the resources the AARC has on tap to help PR RTs maximize their efforts to bring their life-enhancing programs to patients —
- Pulmonary Disease Educator Course: This 14.5 CRCE course provides the pulmonary disease management information therapists need to improve care and quality of life for patients with conditions ranging from asthma and COPD to cystic fibrosis, interstitial lung disease, lung cancer, and pulmonary hypertension.
- Emerging Roles for the Respiratory Therapist in Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency: This online course covers the hereditary form of COPD and carries 3.0 CRCEs.
- Clinical Practice Guideline on Pulmonary Rehabilitation: The key components of a state-of-the-art PR program are outlined here.
- Position Statement on Pulmonary Rehabilitation: With a short and to-the-point overview of what a PR program should entail, this statement can be invaluable when developing a new program or upgrading an existing one.
- Update on 2017 Pulmonary Rehabilitation Payment Rates: The AARC provides an explanation of the 2017 CMS payment rates that went into effect in January 2017. The AARC, along with others in the pulmonary rehabilitation community, has already begun working with CMS on the 2018 rates.
- Continuing Care/Rehabilitation Section: Join the section to network with your peers from across the country via a dedicated discussion list on AARConnect and receive targeted newsletters with the latest studies and other information pertaining to the specialty.
So if you work in pulmonary rehabilitation, consider how you can put these resources to work in your programs. If you don’t, take a few minutes out of your day to thank your colleagues in PR for all they do to help your chronic lung disease patients get healthier and back on the road to a better quality of life.