Education among our staff, teaching students and continually practicing new approaches is our model in clinical education. Recently, a therapist who worked for Prime Rehabilitation Services, Inc. for many years, invited me to present on the subject of respiration and positioning. This lead to a wonderful, educational session regarding several topics.
1) Respiratory program with emphasis on long exhalation versus short inhalation. Ration 2:1, count to 6 on exhalation and count to 3 for inhalation. This method clears the lungs of CO2 in order to make room for O2.
The group in the picture is practicing how to measure the length of current exhalation by having a tissue in front of them and blowing onto it. As the patient progresses with the program their exhalation would be longer. It can be measured by seconds and also provides evidence of progress.
2) Learning how to focus on segmental breathing of the lobes by utilizing a gait belt around the chest on the upper lung lobes and then lower the belt to the lower lobes – progressing to unilateral lobe. This method could be beneficial in decreasing scoliosis.
3) Positioning patient – Yoga based.
A patient who suffered from Parkinson’s disease presented with increased rigidity and could not talk while standing. The two therapists and the student tried different positions to support the neck, knees, legs and arms. The patient stated that the position was the best she had experienced in a long time and, to our surprise, she was able to communicate this statement clearly. From this relaxed position we were able to perform assistive active ROM to hips and strengthening to the quadriceps.
4) OT practices grooming skills with a resident of a facility. To restore safe standing while grooming in the way to independence in self-care.
The entire education session, with its many components, was a great success and stimulated great ideas from the therapists. What a wonderful day!