Frequently Asked Questions in the Exam Room
Amber Porter, DNP, FNP-BC is a family nurse practitioner at Banner - University Medical Center Phoenix Family Medicine Clinic-Transitional Care Clinic. Amber’s primary focus is outpatient care, but she also has over 16 years of clinical research experience. Amber is asked dozens of questions in the exam room every day. On this page, she's sharing those questions and her answers. Have a question for Amber? Email us here and be sure to include "FAQs in the Exam Room" in the subject line.
Spring/Summer 2016 FAQs
Question: I’ve been diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension. Is exercise going to be hard on my heart or make my condition worse?
Answer: Once you’ve been diagnosed, it’s critical to check with your pulmonologist or cardiologist about physical activity. Strenuous physical activity can increase pulmonary artery pressure, however, a supervised cardiopulmonary rehabilitation program can be very helpful.
Preparing for an Appointment
Question: What do I need to bring to my first appointment with a specialist like a pulmonologist?
Answer: It’s recommended that you bring your CT Scan/CXR. Most radiology places will put these on a disc for you. You should also bring any lab work you’ve had done over the last year, any breathing studies you’ve done, a list of all medications, and questions you’d like answered during your visit.
Question: Do I need to go to pulmonary rehabilitation? Is it really helpful?
Answer: If your daily activities are limited beacuse of shortness of breath, you should consider pulmonary rehabilitation. It can be very helpful. To qualify for pulmonary rehabilitation, you must have reduced lung function (FEV1 less than 70%) or a diagnosis that automatically qualifies you for the service such as interstitial lung disease. Pulmonary rehabilitation is safe, monitored exercise combined with education to teach you how to breathe more effectively.
Cold and Flu Season
Question: Should I get the flu vaccine?
Answer: Yes. It’s important to get vaccinated because many lung diseases are made worse when exposed to colds or the flu. Even if the vaccine doesn’t cover every flu strain, some protection is better than none. While many people believe they can catch the flu from the vaccine, that isn’t true. The vaccine isn’t a live virus. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu. Different flu vaccines are available for use in different groups of people such as those with any relevant allergies, including an egg allergy. As always, wash your hands and wipe down items such as menus and grocery carts to stay healthy.
Click here to view the Fall/Winter 2015-2016 FAQs