Make a COPD Plan
When it comes to living with COPD, it's important to have a plan in place. Since you and your goals are unique, work with your healthcare team to create a plan that's right for you.
YOUR COPD PLAN MAY INCLUDE:
Working with your healthcare team.
Finding the support you need.
who's on your healthcare team?
The foundation of your COPD plan is based on working with all the members of your healthcare team. Try to view them as your partners with one common goal: your wellness. Read More These healthcare professionals are some of your most valuable allies, so being able to effectively communicate with them isn't just a plus—it's a necessity.
Who's on your healthcare team? Take a look at some of the people who may play a role in helping you make and reach your COPD goals:
primary care provider (pcp)
Your PCP is usually a doctor but may also be a physician assistant (PA) or nurse practitioner (NP). Your PCP plays a key role in the diagnosis and management of COPD.
Pulmonologists are doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating people with lung conditions, like COPD.
Your pharmacist not only prepares and processes your prescription but may also follow your progress to ensure that your medications are appropriate for you and your medication plan. Your pharmacist may also check that you are taking your medication as prescribed.
Most respiratory therapists work in hospitals or travel to patients' homes. They teach people with COPD how to manage their condition and even help people manage home oxygen needs.
Nurses are frequently the first point of contact for patients. Involved in all stages of care, nurses may ask you questions and provide helpful information about your breathing at your first appointment and follow-up appointments thereafter.
While sometimes it may be tough for you to talk to the members of your healthcare team openly and honestly, the best thing you can do is not hold anything back. It's OK to share information and be specific about what you're feeling. For instance, instead of simply telling your doctor that you're more tired than usual, give him or her a specific example, like describing how a daily walk to the mailbox is taking longer and is more exhausting. When you're open and honest with your healthcare team, it can be easier to set goals that are right for you. Then you can work better together to measure if your particular COPD plan is working or not. Close
partnering with your healthcare provider
Phil, Alice, Corazetter — Being honest about COPD with your Doctor
Edna — It's my job
Marianne — Asking a million questions
We can't cure COPD, but we can try to stay healthier, you know? And that's what I did. I started researching—Internet, people, the doctor and where I go for pulmonary rehab, and I asked a million questions. And I learned. There are no stupid questions—ask everything.
My pulmonary doctor—we've got a wonderful relationship. He's very open and honest with me. Of course I am with him. And it's really good. I feel good about going to see him. And I feel good about how well I'm doing. Close Close
Janet — Finding the right doctor for you
I have a pulmonary doctor who is very important to me. I had been with a group of doctors that all worked together, and none of them ever really got to know the real me. Read More Read More So I found a doctor who works on his own who was recommended by a nurse friend of mine. He's the perfect doctor. He put me on a whole new schedule, and I believe for the shape that my lungs are in that he's absolutely done the best that can be done for me, and I have total faith in him. I've chosen wisely and I have excellent doctors. And, if they weren't excellent when I first went there, I changed until I found one that was right for me. Close Close