Completing a Pulmonary Rehabilitation placement at Spirit Health

Two University College of Birmingham students are the first to complete a Pulmonary Rehabilitation placement at Spirit Health

By on December 8, 2022

We’re thrilled to have had two University College of Birmingham students with us for a 6-week placement with the Pulmonary Rehabilitation team. Our Pulmonary Rehabilitation programme consists of tailored exercise and education to help those with chronic lung conditions. Our aim is to improve the patient’s knowledge, coping strategies and exercise tolerance, which in turn can help them to feel less breathless and less fatigued. This gives them a better quality of life and increases their confidence and independence when getting on with their tasks of daily living. 

Our two students, Aman and Mia are currently studying Physiotherapy and will be graduating in Summer 2023. As part of their course, they have completed a placement with us to get some hands-on experience. This has allowed them to gain experience in a Pulmonary Rehabilitation programme and get exposure to digital health initiatives. They’ve worked closely with the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Team, who were sad to see them go at the end of their placement! Here’s a little insight into what they’ve been up to…  

Group of people taking a selfie on their Pulmonary Rehabilitation placement. They are all smiling and looking at the camera.

(From left to right) Aman Manku (UCB student), Mia Houlston (UCB student), Shahbaz Afzal (Band 6 Physiotherapist), Bal Matharu (Advanced Physiotherapy Practitioner), Claire Butler (Band 4 Technical Instructor) and Molly Johnson (Band 4 Technical Instructor)

Getting a 360-view of Spirit

Over their 6-week placement, Aman and Mia worked closely with the Pulmonary Rehabilitation team and with lots of different people in Spirit to get a holistic view of our digital health service. Some of their experiences included: 

  • Working with Clare Welton from the Service Delivery Team to learn about CliniTouch, how the platform works and how it supports the digital patients on the Pulmonary rehabilitation programme 

“I think CliniTouch Vie is a great idea. Monitoring people at home means that they won’t have to make unnecessary calls or trips to the hospital and gives the patient piece of mind too. It’s also interesting how it can be used for different conditions and be used for different types of projects.”

– Mia 

  • Spending the day with Respiratory Team at Leicestershire Partnership Trust to gain insights into their roles 
  • Working with other nurses to learn more about spirometry with Spirit’s Jude O’Kelly (Senior Clinical Lead) and Karen Moore (Clinical Operational Lead & Specialist Practitioner CMS) 

“We learnt more about what spirometry is and we tested our own spirometry on the machines which helped us get a view of what the nurses do on a day-to-day basis. We then went through a patient case study which helped us learn more about a real-life diagnosis.”

– Mia 

  • Learning about how digital healthcare can be implemented across different pathways  
  • Learning about our structured diabetes education programme, EMPOWER, by sitting in one of the sessions to learn more about Type 2 diabetes  

“It’s been useful to have access to the EMPOWER course from a healthcare professional perspective. I’m able to go onto it and complete the modules in my own time and learn how to better care for people with diabetes. It’s something I’ll be continuing to learn about after this placement.”

– Aman  

Picture of the front and the inside of a 'thank you' card from Aman and Mia. This card thanks the team for their experiences on the Pulmonary Rehabilitation placement.

Leaving card and kind words from Aman & Mia to the Spirit team

Key takeaways from Aman and Mia 

Here is what Aman and Mia have enjoyed about their 6-week placement… 

“It’s been enjoyable and really insightful into what digital healthcare is – getting first-hand experience in that has been really good. 

For me, having read about digital rehabilitation was one thing, but after sitting in some sessions at the end of the programme, it really showed me the massive improvements pulmonary rehab can have. It’s been great to see patients’ views on their own health improve, how their anxiety has gotten better and seeing that they’ve been able to learn more about their condition. 

I haven’t really worked with community nurses before so it’s also been good to get an insight into their role and understanding how they diagnose COPD and other conditions.”

– Aman   


“We’ve been lucky to have hospital insights before, but this placement has been totally different and allowed us to see a different, more community-based side to pulmonary rehabilitation. We have had an insight within a variety of respiratory conditions such as COPD, Asthma, Long Covid, ILS and seen how much of an impact pulmonary rehab has had on them. 

The thing I’ve enjoyed the most is that we’ve seen some patients the whole way through the process. From their pre-assessments, all the way through to the exercise programme and post-assessments. Comparing their results to the start and seeing how their scores have improved has been great. This is because they’ve taken part in the pulmonary rehabilitation programme. 

It’s given us a good insight into digital healthcare because we don’t learn much about that at uni. Digital healthcare is going to become more prominent in the future, including physiotherapy. So I feel that us having insights now will give us a good opportunity for the future when we graduate.”

– Mia  

It’s been a pleasure to have Aman and Mia with us for their placement. We wish them all the best for their final year and their exams! If you’d like to learn more out our pulmonary rehabilitation service, find out more here. 


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