Getting Creative with Pulmonary Rehabilitation

 Published: March 13, 2019

By: Heather Willden


photo of chair yoga class at UCHealth
Pulmonary Rehabilitation takes on Chair Yoga at UCHealth.

As we celebrate Pulmonary Rehabilitation Week, reflect on how you are best helping your patients. Pulmonary rehab comes in many forms, shapes and sizes. At its core, improving quality of life for patients remains primary.

Find what motivates your patients

No two patients are the same, making personalized care imperative to their health. This means that sometimes, respiratory therapists need to think creatively to help and motivate their patients.

For example, Lori Smith, MBA-HC, BSN, RN, RRT, CCRP, manager for Cardiac/Pulmonary Rehabilitation at UCHealth, introduced her patients to chair yoga.

“The patients absolutely love it and they see an improvement in their balance and strength as verbally reported,” Smith said.

photo of chair yoga class at UCHealth
UCHealth leads individuals in Chair Yoga as a pulmonary rehabilitation exercise.

For Smith, she finds value in exploring these unique therapies because “it is another option for those patients that are unable to do some of the equipment due to neuropathy and/or other limitations.”

In addition to chair yoga, Smith hopes to restart Tai Chi as another option for her patients.

Keep the conversation going

How are you reaching your patients? What unique therapies do you offer? Share what works, or what doesn’t work, with your colleagues at AARConnect.

Grow your skills

Check out the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Certificate Course to earn a specialized certificate and increase your value as a respiratory therapist.

Email with questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you.

Heather Willden

Heather Willden is the Director of Governance and Strategic Initiatives for the AARC where she works with state affiliates as the HOD liaison. She also manages DEI efforts and strategic initiatives. Connect with her about these topics by email, AARConnect or LinkedIn. When she's not working, you can find her podcasting with her husband, exploring new hiking trails, photographing, and spending time with her family.

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