November is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) awareness month, and we’re sitting down with Jeffrey Sheehy, RN, from our complex medicine unit who has cared for patients with COPD at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center for 13 years.
What is COPD?
COPD is a broad term for a variety of chronic lung diseases.
What do you do at Fort Sanders Regional?
I’m a nurse in the complex medicine unit at Fort Sanders Regional. I help patients manage symptoms while in the hospital and provide education about healthy habits they can use once they leave the hospital. Specifically for patients with COPD, I help with breathing treatments, supplemental oxygen, occasional antibiotics, steroid treatments and more.
How often do you see patients with COPD?
Very often, but this has shifted in recent months with the COVID-19 pandemic.
What can you do if you have COPD?
The biggest factor for developing COPD is smoking, so if you have COPD, stop smoking. There are also inhalers and other methods to help keep the airway open and ways to manage allergies that could affect the airway. Talk to your healthcare provider about your specific treatment options.
Why did you pursue a career in complex medical nursing?
It wasn’t my plan when I was in nursing school, but when I applied and interviewed at Fort Sanders Regional this area felt like a good fit for me.
What’s the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is seeing patients who come in and want to change their lifestyles because they appreciate the care I give and are active in their own care. They genuinely want to get better.
Why do you work at Fort Sanders Regional/Covenant Health?
I work with amazing people and patients.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I like to bowl, play softball, travel and spend time with my puppy.
What’s your favorite food?
What’s your favorite TV show?
Game of Thrones