Introducing the Members of Your CF Clinic Team
Each CF clinic team has specialists in specific areas of cystic fibrosis care. The 'team' makes sure each person with CF remains as healthy as possible.
The team includes
- Clinic Director (physician) – makes all CF medical decisions, prescribes medications and leads the team. He/she often diagnoses cystic fibrosis and admits patients to hospital when necessary. Many Clinic Directors are also CF researchers.
- Nurse Coordinator – knows each patient's medical issues, is called when problems arise and can provide help or referral to another team member. The Nurse Coordinator also sees patients and families during a clinic and when they’re in hospital.
- Physiotherapist – teaches specific exercises and other treatments to ensure the lungs of people with cystic fibrosis are as healthy and free of mucus and bacteria as possible. Physiotherapy methods include breathing exercises, clapping the chest, and the use of vibrating machines to help clear airways.
- Dietitian – makes sure patients are eating the right foods to gain and maintain weight. Food and good nutrition are vital for people with CF. The dietitian also teaches people about the use of enzymes and when to take them.
- Social Worker – helps people with CF and their families cope with the disease. He/she assists the search for community resources such as financial assistance, tax credits and education. The social worker can provide support with emotional problems or refer people to a psychologist or psychiatrist.
Some CF clinic teams also include
- Respiratory technician – conducts lung function tests
- Pharmacist – dispenses drugs needed to care for CF
- Psychologist and/or psychiatrist (doctors) – treats mental health issues
- Clinic Secretary – books appointments for tests and clinic visits