Brookings Health System Respiratory Care Team becomes Certified COPD Educators

Posted: 2/26/2014

Smoking Cessation Important Aspect of Patient Education

Brookings Health System’s respiratory care department recently became certified to provide COPD patient education, including tactics for smoking cessation. Pictured from left to right are Kara Drew, Jean Steele, Kelly Maser, Janie Isham and Meredith Lemme. Not pictured: Jason Hoots.Brookings Health System’s respiratory care team recently completed certification for all respiratory therapists to be Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) educators.

COPD is a lung disease that limits airflow. It may include chronic bronchitis, emphysema or both. Common day-to-day symptoms include coughing up mucus or phlegm, difficulty breathing and shortness of breath, wheezing and chest tightness.

As certified COPD educators, the respiratory care team may teach patients diagnosed with COPD and admitted to the hospital how to live with their condition. 

“COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S.,” said Respiratory Care Director Kelly Maser. “It is also the third most frequent reason for hospital readmissions. By teaching hospital patients self management of their condition, our respiratory therapists can help decrease patients’ chances for readmission to the hospital.”

Education provided by respiratory therapists include ways to control breathing, nutrition, exercise, oxygen, medication, inhaler use, and avoiding triggers, such as air pollution, second-hand smoke and smoking. To encourage COPD patients to stop smoking, therapists also provide information on and tactics for smoking cessation.

“Cigarette smoking is the most common risk for developing COPD,” said Maser. “The earlier in life a patient starts smoking and the more cigarettes he or she smokes each day, the more likely a patient will develop COPD. Stopping smoking immediately will slow down COPD.”

For more information about COPD education or smoking cessation, contact the respiratory care department at (605) 696-7729.

About Brookings Health System

Brookings Health System, located in Brookings, South Dakota, includes a 49-bed hospital, the 79-bed The Neighborhoods at Brookview nursing home, Brookhaven Estates senior living apartments, Yorkshire Eye Clinic, Arlington Medical Center and White Medical Clinic. It is a non-profit, city-owned facility that offers the community a full range of inpatient, outpatient, surgical and extended care services. The emergency room is staffed 24 hours a day and provides around the clock patient needs ranging from minor injuries to life threatening crises. For more information about the services offered at Brookings Health System, please call (605) 696-9000 or visit us on the Web at brookingshealth.org.