Human resources

A pulmonary rehabilitation program can be established with a very small team: one practitioner and one patient will do!

Indeed, it's possible to call upon the members of an interdisciplinary team but only when needed, in other words, to address a specific and one-off problem involving a given patient. Meanwhile, one must never neglect the importance of the actual patient and their family.

The patient...

  • participates in the program as a member of the team on an equal footing with everyone else
  • makes decisions and acts accordingly
  • searches for information and finds out what skills are required
  • communicates their expectations, problems and fears

The patient and their family/next of kin...

  • can act as spokespeople vis-à-vis the media
  • can even be members of the program's organizing committee

Who makes up the pulmonary rehabilitation program team?

Should there be only one practitioner involved in establishing the program, the latter would have to be a health care professional specializing in physical exercise and certified to perform cardiac resuscitation.

Afterwards, if needed, the patient can be referred to other health care professionals, bringing an interdisciplinary approach into play, who can then educate the patient and monitor their progress in each of their respective fields of expertise.

For example:


The advantages of interdisciplinarity

When several specialized health care professionals work together, several benefits will ensue, notably:

  • The possibility of broadening the knowledge and resources of each of the health care professionals
  • The possibility of delivering better care and providing a better education
  • The possibility of making a more precise medical diagnosis

In addition, the management of the team should be the responsibility of one or more of its members. It will often be the pneumologist who heads the organization and acts as the medical director.


The challenges of interdisciplinarity…

The interdisciplinary approach is one of the key strengths of pulmonary rehabilitation programs, but it also gives rise to a number of challenges, for example:

  • Differences in opinion between the practitioners
  • Difficulties in scheduling meetings
  • Grey areas in terms of describing each professional's role
  • Lack of consistency in the messages being communicated

The key to a smooth functioning team

To ensure that the rehabilitation team functions smoothly, the members have to:

  • Simultaneously adopt an interdisciplinary and interactive approach
  • Work collaboratively
  • Have specialized training and knowledge
  • Cultivate the overlap of everyone's role
  • Maintain open and clear channels of communication between one another

Please keep in mind...

One of the ways to ensure the effectiveness of each of the members of the interdisciplinary team involves clarifying the role that each one must play. In addition, it is crucial that all the practitioners are suitably qualified in their field. Continuous training is essential to keep up to date on current knowledge, as well as to develop new insights and awareness.