The Allied Health setting
The Allied Health members of your healthcare team can be seen in a hospital, community centre or private practice. These healthcare professionals have training in a specific body system or function and complement the rest of the team.
Allied Health professionals include:
A physiotherapist will help keep you as active as you are able to be while living with your lung disease. They will work together with you to help you to:
- Provide education to help you develop knowledge of your lung condition and related medical problems.
- Assist you in understanding your medicines and to use your breathing techniques to help you use your inhalers correctly.
- Treat physical symptoms and work with you to understand and manage them.
- find solutions to problems you may have due to your lung disease and any other conditions by doing a full assessment. This might include referral to other team members.
- Develop and follow an exercise program to relieve symptoms and improve your quality of life.
- Manage breathlessness with physical activity, breathing techniques, relaxation techniques, distraction techniques and pacing activities.
- Clear secretions (mucus) from your airways with airway clearance techniques or devices.
- Regularly check your oxygen levels and blood pressure, especially after supervised exercise.
- You may also be referred to an exercise physiologist to develop and monitor a set of exercises, specifically designed for your individual needs.
Occupational therapists assist you by helping you:
- Develop ways of better managing everyday activities such as washing, dressing and cooking.
- To work out if any changes are needed at home to help you manage better.
A psychologist will:
- Help you work through fears, worries, and resolving problems.
- Teach you strategies to handle anxiety and depression, and how to relax.
- Teach you how to manage panic attacks.
A dietitian can assist you if you are underweight or overweight. The dietitian assesses your dietary requirements, and develops a nutritional intervention that will improve lung and respiratory muscle function, improve exercise performance and achieve a healthy weight.
Smoking cessation counsellor, better known as a Tobacco Treatment Specialist
A tobacco treatment specialist will assist you in stopping smoking. They help you quit through intensive counselling and the use of smoking cessation medicines.