Physiotherapists at Lakeridge Health are taking on new responsibilities to administer inhaled medications (puffers) as well as oxygen to patients, with the hospital investing in educating and supporting them.
“I don’t know of any other hospital in Canada doing this,” says Lindsay Graham, a physiotherapist in the Medicine Program at Lakeridge Health Oshawa.
“We want everyone to feel empowered and supported to work to their full scope of practice,” says Cathy Pierce, Interdisciplinary Specialist. “It’s really a testament to the level of expertise we have in our physiotherapists here that they’ve taken the initiative.”
For Patricia James, a puff of Ventolin before her physiotherapy is making all the difference in her recovery. Patricia was admitted with pneumonia and underlying Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
“I’m able to walk better and I don’t feel so tired afterwards,” she says.
Physiotherapists can also help educate patients like Patricia, who have never used puffers before, how to use them properly. This helps them manage their breathing issues at home after leaving the hospital.
When someone is taught to use their inhaled medications properly, they have less difficulty with breathing, and less trips back to the emergency room” says Ms. Pierce