Health care team
Health Care Team Members
Nurse Case Manager
The Cystic Fibrosis Nurse Case Manager (who is also the CF Center Coordinator) is a pivotal part of the CF team. The Nurse Case Manager works with all members of the CF care team to ensure that the center runs smoothly. The Nurse Case Manager is your primary contact and helps you to address your concerns, answer questions, or direct you to the right CF care team member.
Your CF Nurse Case Manager has many roles which include:
- Coordinates and carries out your medical care plans.
- Reviews your treatment plan and any changes with you.
- Facilitates communication between you and the other CF team members.
- Helps you to get your medications, equipment, and laboratory studies.
- Alerts your CF care team about psychological, social, and financial concerns you or your family may be experiencing.
- Provides you with health information or directs you to resources to help you manage your disease.
- Helps you educate family members, friends, the public, and other health care professionals like your primary care physician or other non-CF specialists on ways to support your health.
Respiratory Care Practitioner
Respiratory Care Practitioners (RCPs) are licensed health care professionals who are key members of the cystic fibrosis team. The RCPs provide direct care to patients, perform pulmonary function testing, instruct patients and families on the use of airway clearance devices and therapy techniques for home use, the proper administration of aerosol therapy, and reviews cleaning and disinfecting of respiratory equipment. Airway clearance therapy (ACT) is the mainstay of respiratory health. The objective is to loosen mucus and remove secretions from airways. Patient compliance is the key to successful airway clearance so the RCPs work closely with the patient, their family, and the pulmonary physician to adapt the best therapy for the patient so there is better adherence.
A vast majority of patients with Cystic Fibrosis are unable to digest and absorb their food properly, leading to poor nutrition and poor weight gain. In addition, CF patients have higher nutrient needs to promote better health and to cope with their disease. Research studies have shown that optimal body weight results in improving lung function and good nutrition is pivotal in building and maintaining a healthy body weight. The Cystic Fibrosis dietitian is especially trained to assess your food intake, your growth and your nutritional status. The dietitian works with you to achieve optimal body weight and to ensure you are consuming enough calories and nutrients needed to fight off lung infections and maintain better lung function. Monitoring of growth and weight, pancreatic enzyme dosage, and vitamin supplements and enhancing nutrition individually are used to ensure your needs are well met. CF dietitian also helps you to manage CF-related complications such as CF-related diabetes (CFRD) and bone diseases like osteoporosis.
The social worker serves as an integral member of the CF team to assist in the care of the patient and family as they strive to live a normal life while balancing all the demands of the disease. Intervention is designed to meet the psychological and social needs by providing education, community resources, and emotional support. All patients will have an initial psychosocial assessment. Interventions include:
- Crisis intervention
- Counseling of individuals and their families related to depression, anxiety, grief, loss, etc. associated with patient’s illness.
- Counseling to promote effective management of diagnosis and decrease barriers to compliance with treatment plan
- Professional interpretation of psychosocial issues for medical team
- Psycho-education for patients and families regarding expected emotional reactions and challenges of diagnosis
- Advocacy on patient’s behalf with medical team and community resources
- Referrals to resources
- Assistance in transition from pediatrics to adult care for CF management