Becky McKenna, PT, DPT
Bacharach is one of the few providers in southern New Jersey to offer a pulmonary rehabilitation program.
Becky McKenna, PT, DPT, who has been with Bacharach for 13 years, earned her master’s degree in physical therapy in 2005 and her Doctorate in 2009 from Stockton University.
She has been providing physical therapy in Bacharach’s pulmonary rehab program for 4 years.
The Pulmonary Rehab Program at Bacharach
The pulmonary rehab program consists of endurance training, using equipment like a bike, arm bike, seated stepper, and treadmill, and patient education regarding breathing mechanics and posture correction. The time and intensity for each piece of equipment is gradually increased while working on improved breathing mechanics, with the goal that patients will be less short of breath when completing daily tasks at home. Patients wear a heart monitor during their session so we can monitor heart function during exercise, and we also monitor their oxygen level throughout the session to ensure their oxygen level is staying is an acceptable range.
“We evaluate each patient and will develop a treatment plan based upon their impairments and functional limitations,” said Becky. “For patients that may be very deconditioned, we may need to start with short intervals for each exercise, and gradually work up to the desired time and intensity. We will also look at the patient’s posture, and incorporate exercises to stretch and/or strengthen postural muscles as needed to avoid a forward head & forward shoulder positioning. When the chest and pectoral muscles are tight, the shoulders come forward which makes it difficult to take an effective breath. We want to make breathing more efficient, because when you are breathing ineffectively it is harder to do the tasks in your daily routine.”
“In addition to endurance training, we also work on stretching and strengthening as needed if any impairment were discovered during the initial evaluation.”
“The pulmonary rehab program is twice a week for 8 to 10 weeks. We work closely with the referring physician for each patient, especially in cases where they are on oxygen.”
“There is an entirely new protocol for cleaning, following NJDOH and CDC guidelines. We only have one patient per therapist, we respect social distancing. Then we clean everything the patient touches between patients.”
‘We take the patient’s temperature upon arrival, and patients wear masks. The care team wears PPE and also has their temperature taken upon arrival to work each day.”