Advocate Christ Medical Center
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Why did my doctor suggest that I enroll in a pulmonary rehabilitation program?
What is pulmonary rehabilitation?
Are there any special tests I'll need to have before I enroll?
What are the benefits of being in the program?
How does the program work?
Who provides the medical care?
Will my insurance cover this?

1. Why did my doctor suggest that I enroll in a pulmonary rehabilitation program?

For people with chronic lung disease, the activities of daily living-walking, getting dressed and performing basic chores-become difficult if not impossible due to shortness of breath and muscle fatigue. Your physician-your family doctor, internist, general practitioner or pulmonologist-may have felt that with Advocate Christ Medical Center's pulmonary rehabilitation program you could have a chance at a more active, productive life.

2. What is pulmonary rehabilitation?

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a program combining:

  • exercise sessions;
  • education about your disease, as well as nutrition, stress management, daily activities and medications; and
  • enrollment in the "Easy Breathers" support group.

3. Are there any special tests I'll need to have before I enroll?

Yes. You'll need to complete a pulmonary function test before you start the program so that the pulmonary rehabilitation team can design an individualized program for you.

4. What are the benefits of being in the program?

Pulmonary rehabilitation can give you:

  • improved physical endurance and function;
  • decreased shortness of breath;
  • decreased anxiety;
  • a better understanding of chronic lung disease;
  • a better understanding of how your medications work;
  • more independence; and
  • support from other program participants.

This unique combination of exercise, reconditioning, education and support can help you prevent the number of times you are hospitalized and, even more importantly, give you back a more rewarding life.

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5. How does the program work?

As a pulmonary rehabilitation participant, you will work with a respiratory therapist, registered nurses and an exercise physiologist. Using your individualized exercise program, they will teach you how to increase your strength and stamina. Gradually, and depending upon your progress, you'll build up to the point where you'll be participating in sessions three times a week. The entire program lasts a total of 18 weeks.

During that time, you'll develop a home exercise plan and will have the chance to enroll in Easy Breathers, a medical center-based support group of people like you, who are learning to live with chronic lung disease. In addition, you'll attend educational sessions on:

  • the importance of nutrition, exercise and medications;
  • stress management;
  • how the progression of the disease is affecting your body; and
  • how you can reduce your discomfort and increase your sense of control.

6. Who provides the medical care?

As a pulmonary rehabilitation participant at Christ Medical Center, you will receive personalized attention from a team of health care professionals, including the respiratory therapist, exercise physiologist and registered nurses. Under the direction of a physician specializing in pulmonology, they'll work together to provide a state-of-the-art, comprehensive program just for you.

You will remain under the care of your personal physician while you participate in the program. To ensure that your physician is kept up-to-date, the Christ Medical Center pulmonary rehabilitation team will provide him/her with ongoing reports, as well as a final outcome report on the progress you have made throughout the program.

7. Will my insurance cover this?

In most cases pulmonary rehabilitation is covered by Medicare and/or supplemental insurance. You should always consult your insurance company to determine proper coverage.

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