Care for COPD Patient


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a condition that is associated with a high level of physical, social, and economic burden to patients. Physically, a patient suffering from COPD has difficulty in breathing, coughs constantly, and wheezes (Barnes & Celli, 2009). In short, an individual suffering from this condition is not able to function well physically. Economically, treating COPD is costly. This affects patients financially. On the other hand, with the condition affecting patients physically, their productivity reduces considerably. With the condition affecting patients physically, socially, and economically and it being a risk to other conditions such as cancer, it is important for it to be managed (Steindal et al., 2019). In this presentation, the nursing intervention used on COPD patients, the multidisciplinary team involved with COPD patients and the care they provide, the care plan after discharge, and the impact on nursing and family will be highlighted.

Nursing intervention used on COPD patients

There are a number of nursing interventions used on COPD patients, with the focus of these interventions being to lowering symptoms of the condition and improving the quality of life of patients. Some of these interventions include smoking cessation, education, physical exercises, and follow-ups.  COPD is normally caused by smoking (Fletcher & Dahl, 2013). Out of 10 COPD-related deaths, 8 of them are caused by smoking. Smoking cessation is thereby a key intervention which is used to reduce symptoms, improve the quality of life, and lower the mortality rate of COPD patients.

Education, as a nursing intervention, is used to impart knowledge to patients and their families about COPD and how they can manage the condition. For example, through education, patients are taught about the condition, its symptoms, how to manage the symptoms, medication they should observe, nutrition, and the daily activities they should engage in to control the condition (Steindal et al., 2019). On the other hand, family members are taught how to take care of the patients, what symptoms to watch out for, and when to call a doctor.  In short, education enables patients and their families to get knowledge and skills which allow them to manage COPD.

Physical exercises, as a nursing intervention, are used among COPD patients to improve circulation and help the body use oxygen in a better way.   Physical exercises are also used to help COPD patients build energy levels which allow them to carry out more activities without in tiring or suffering from shortness of breath (Sun et al., 2021).  Other benefits of physical exercises include strengthening the cardiovascular system, increasing endurance, and lowering blood pressure.

Lastly, follow-ups are used as a nursing intervention to monitor the patient and ensure they are observing the established healthcare plan.  Follow-ups are normally carried out after the patient has been discharged (Fletcher & Dahl, 2013). A specialist nurse visits the patient at home and records the progress of the patient, any new needs, problems, or events. This allows for adjustment of the healthcare plan if need be. In general, nursing interventions for COPD are patient-centred in that they are focused on the patient unique needs (Sun et al., 2021).  This is to ensure the patient is given the highest possible care.

Multidisciplinary team involved in COPD patient

The multidisciplinary team approach is normally used for COPD patients to ensure maximum medical care protocol. The multidisciplinary team involved with COPD patient comprises of nurses, physicians, exercise specialists, dieticians, and social workers. The team plays multiple roles which include providing and, where necessary, adjusting medication, rehabilitation of COPD patients, psychological counselling, and nutritional guidance (Kuzma et al., 2008). The roles played by each member of the team complement each other to provide highest quality care. The kind of care the team provides is to reinforcing the medical care plan established as well as provide education and support (Sikich, 2012). The medical care plan for COPD patients normally involves taking certain medications, engaging in healthy lifestyle practices, and eating a nutritious diet. The team is thereby responsible for ensuring that all these activities are carried out by the patient.

Care plan given on discharge

The care plan given discharge comprises of follow-up care, education, and smoking cessation program. The follow-up care is mainly focused on monitoring the patient to determine how they are doing, that is, whether they are improving or deteriorating. This is done by assigning a healthcare professional to the patient (Hopkinson et al., 2012). The healthcare professional periodically visits the patient and records any new developments. This allows for adjustment of medication if need be. Education is normally provided to the patient and their family so that they can have knowledge of how to management the condition and what to do in case of an emergency situation (Ospina et al., 2017). Lastly, the patient is enrolled in a smoking cessation program to ensure that they stop smoking completely. As indicated, smoking is one of the causes of COPD and a smoking cessation program is considered to be a key element to the overall care plan after discharge.

Impact on family and nursing

As pointed out, the care provided to COPD patients is multidisciplinary. This means that there is complex nursing collaboration where different healthcare professionals come together to provide care to the patient (Kuzma et al., 2008). After discharge, the family of the patient can be incorporated into the multidisciplinary team and be involved in taking care of the patient. The impact of the family is family members gain knowledge and skills on how to care for a COPD patient (Hopkinson et al., 2012). It also allows the family to establish a relationship with healthcare professionals which improves the collaboration. On the other hand, the complex care collaboration affects nursing by improving the quality of care provided to the patient.


Basically, COPD is one of the conditions that significantly affect the victim both physically and economically. It is also a risk factor for other conditions like cancer. This means that it should be treated and managed as effectively as possibly. The interventions involved are many and they include, as mentioned, medication, physical exercises, diet, and smoking cessation. The management of COPD is multidisciplinary in that it involves various healthcare professionals who work together to provide care to the patient.  The family of the patient is, in most cases, involved in the care after discharge.