Pulmonary rehabilitation is a program offered at Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waukon that teaches a person to live and breathe better with chronic lung disease. Conditions such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma, restrictive lung disease and cystic fibrosis can make doing everyday activities difficult due to shortness of breath and low activity tolerance. Participation in a pulmonary rehab program can help increase strength, manage shortness of breath, decrease anxiety and depression, and implement a consistent at-home exercise program.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation consists of closely supervised exercise sessions staffed by Amy Rolfs, RN and Diann Weymiller, RN. During these sessions heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen level, shortness of breath and exercise tolerance are monitored and assessed. Sessions also include education about breathing techniques, energy conservation, medications, oxygen use and self evaluation to help increase a person’s activity tolerance.  The pulmonary rehab staff also provide other information that helps set goals and create a plan for managing  chronic lung disease and improving quality of life.

Monica Monserud of Waterville has utilized the cardio-pulmonary program at Veterans Memorial Hospital. “I was sick for two weeks and then went to see a doctor, to find out my oxygen level was low and I was dehydrated,” explains Monserud. “I have been attending this program to work at building myself back up again.”

For more information in understanding and managing pulmonary function and improving health, call the Rehabilitation Department at Veterans Memorial Hospital at 563-568-3411.

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