The purpose of pulmonary rehabilitation is to provide progressive clinically supervised exercise and education to individuals with chronic pulmonary disease. The focus emphasizes the overall health continuum, thereby improving quality of life. The primary goal is to equip the participant, family and/or caregivers to make informed decisions concerning the participant’s future health.

Program Objectives

  • Control and alleviate the symptoms and pathophysiological complications of respiratory impairment.
  • Train the participant to achieve optimal capacity, enabling them to carry out activities of daily living.
  • Decrease symptoms of anxiety or depression.
  • Improve quality of life.
  • Continue in or return participant to gainful employment when possible.
  • Promote independence and self-reliance.
  • Increase exercise tolerance and teach skills of energy conservation to improve physical conditioning, thus reducing ventilatory/respiratory strain.
  • Preoperative conditioning and education for people with lung disease, resulting in improved patient outcomes and shorter length of stays after surgery.  (Ask your physician.)
  • Reduce exacerbations and hospitalizations.
  • Encourage participation in recreational pursuits.
  • Breathing retraining to improve ventilatory efficiency.

Participants will enter a conditioning program that includes physical exercise and education. The level of exercise will be based on individual response to an initial exercise test. All participants will be given information regarding the amount and type of regular exercise that should be performed. Exercise sessions will be available on a regularly scheduled basis. Sessions may be adjusted depending on individual progress. Blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen saturation will be monitored pre- and post-exercise and during exercise, if necessary.

Education will include breathing exercises, proper use of MDI (metered dose inhaler) and aerosol therapy, relaxation techniques, importance of diet and proper hydration, gait training, therapeutic exercise, ADL (activities of daily living) training, coughing and clearance techniques, ways to conserve energy and other important topics of interest to the pulmonary rehabilitation participant.

Additional learning opportunities are available through Providence’s Air-Ways Pulmonary Support Group, which meets on the last Tuesday of each month.

Program Availability and Registration

The Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program includes two sessions each week on Tuesday and Thursday. The length of rehabilitation, however, will depend upon each participant’s needs and measure of progress.

Registration into the rehabilitation program is through physician referral only. Upon receipt of a physician’s written orders, an appointment will be made for enrollment and evaluation. A summary will be sent to the referring physician and pulmonologist to keep them abreast of interventions and participant’s progress.

Program Staff

The Ascension Providence Pulmonary Rehabilitation team primarily includes:

  • Respiratory Therapist
  • Exercise Physiologist

It also includes multidisciplinary resources from:

  • Nutritional Services
  • Rehabilitative Services (PT/OT)
  • Social Services
  • Chaplain Services
  • Ascension Providence Home Care
  • Ascension Providence Medical Equipment
  • Nursing Services

Goals and Expectations of Pulmonary Rehabilitation

  • Feeling better
  • Reduced dyspnea
  • Greater confidence
  • Less depression, anxiety and panic
  • Less frequent insomnia

Greater Activity

  • At home
  • In the community
  • During leisure time

Increased Endurance and Strength

  • Muscles of ambulation
  • Upper extremities
  • Ventilatory muscles

Greater Range of Function

  • Self-care
  • Care of the home
  • Shopping
  • Sexual activity
  • Leisure activity
  • Work (if appropriate)

Self-Control and Self-Management

  • Dyspnea
  • Living situation
  • Clearance of secretions
  • Medications
  • Oxygen
  • Nutrition
  • Family matters