Pulmonary Rehabilitation and Respiratory Therapy at Bella Vista Health Center

respiratory therapy machine for patients 

At Bella Vista Health Center, our pulmonary rehabilitation and respiratory therapy programs offer exercises, education, and support to individuals with breathing difficulties. Many patients come to us with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), while others are preparing for or recovering from lung surgery. Our programs also help patients suffering from acute conditions, such as asthma attacks, bronchitis, and pneumonia, improve their breathing for a better quality of life. 

Before treatment begins, a respiratory therapist will evaluate your loved one and take a full health history. From there, an interdisciplinary team of specialists will set realistic goals and develop a customized plan that involves an array of diagnostic, therapeutic, and educational services. Key areas of work in our pulmonary rehabilitation and respiratory therapy programs include breathing strategies, medication use, exercise training, nutrition counseling, emotional support, and diagnostic testing. 

Pulmonary Rehabilitation in San Diego

For individuals living with a chronic lung condition, such as COPD, carrying out everyday tasks can be a challenge. Simple activities, like climbing the stairs or walking to the mailbox, often result in breathlessness, coughing, or tightness in the chest. That’s where pulmonary rehabilitation comes in. To help our patients achieve and maintain the highest level of independence and functionality, our respiratory therapists have been trained to assist individuals with:

  • Building endurance through pulmonary rehabilitation exercises
  • Learning modifications for exercise, like using a chair for yoga
  • Using breathing strategies to reduce shortness of breath during activity  
  • Checking their oxygen levels and learning how to improve them
  • Quitting smoking, for patients who are addicted to cigarettes
  • Learning to prepare nutritious foods and maintain a healthy weight
  • Managing their medications and taking them on a schedule
  • Learning how and when to call their healthcare provider

Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program

The primary goals of our pulmonary rehabilitation program are to help patients manage their symptoms, breathe better, and improve their overall quality of life. We also equip patients in our care with the coping strategies they need to manage the changes that often come with COPD, including depression and anxiety. There are several pulmonary rehabilitation programs available to patients at Bella Vista Health Center, including:

  • Breathing strategies

COPD is characterized by a shortness of breath. The respiratory therapists at Bella Vista Health Center help patients increase their oxygen levels and better manage their symptoms with breathing strategies. Key exercises include pursed lip breathing and diaphragmatic breathing, as well as blowing through a mouthpiece against resistance. 

  • Education and medication use

A key part of pulmonary rehabilitation is teaching a patient everything there is to know about his or her chronic lung disease, which we’ve found helps alleviate the patient’s fears and anxieties. Our interdisciplinary team of specialists will also educate your loved one on how to safely take his or her medications, including timing, dosage, and potential side effects for each. 

  • Exercise training

Exercise training is the most important part of pulmonary rehabilitation. Patients will reduce their shortness of breath by exercising the legs, either by walking on a treadmill or cycling on a stationary bike. Upper body exercises may be employed if a patient has shortness of breath when performing normal activities of daily living, like bathing or shaving.

  • Nutrition counseling

An excessive or low body weight can exacerbate a patient’s chronic lung condition. Eating too much can interfere with breathing, while not eating enough can decrease the body’s ability to fight infection. At Bella Vista Health Center, our dietitians work with patients one-on-one to help them develop healthy eating habits and learn to prepare nutritious food without becoming stressed or fatigued.

  • Emotional support

Many people with chronic lung diseases experience depression, anxiety, and other emotional disorders, making it difficult to manage stress and relax. As part of our holistic approach to rehabilitating patients back to their personal best, we offer individual therapy and group counseling to help patients cope with their condition both in our care and in a home setting.

Respiratory Therapy in San Diego

Breathing is a function of the autoimmune system, which means it happens without us having to think about it. However, an injury or unexpected illness can make breathing difficult, dramatically impacting a person’s life. Respiratory therapy helps patients with asthma, pneumonia, congestive heart failure, emphysema, pneumonia, cystic fibrosis, bronchitis, lung cancer and other serious conditions recover lung function for greater independence and a better quality of life.

At Bella Vista Health Center, our respiratory therapists work with a patient’s physicians, nurses, and other team members to coordinate a comprehensive care strategy that begins with diagnostic testing. Pulmonary function testing studies the air capacity of a patient’s lungs, as well as how quickly air is able to flow in and out. Respiratory therapists also perform arterial blood gas testing to evaluate the acidity of a patient’s blood and its concentration of oxygen and carbon dioxide. All of these measurements help our healthcare team diagnose a patient’s respiratory problem and prescribe an appropriate treatment plan.

Types of Respiratory Therapy

The role of the respiratory therapist is to administer and evaluate the effectiveness of patient therapies. There are many different types of respiratory therapy used to improve a patient’s comfort depending on the results of initial diagnostic testing. At Bella Vista Health Center, any combination of the following types of respiratory therapies may be utilized:

  • Aerosol treatments
  • Metered dose inhalers
  • Chest physiotherapy
  • Incentive spirometry
  • Oxygen administration
  • Mechanical ventilation
  • Maintaining artificial airways

Our respiratory therapists also educate patients and their families on how to use these therapies so they can maximize their recovery and return to independent living as quickly as possible.

For more information on Bella Vista Health Center’s programs for pulmonary rehabilitation and respiratory therapy, please contact us at (619) 644-1000.

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