After a massive heart attack in 1989, I was placed in a Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at a local hospital. I attribute the after care and educational instruction of this center for my longevity and health as it is today. If you have been diagnosed with heart disease or had a heart attack, heart transplant or by-pass, please speak with your cardiologist to see if cardiac rehabilitation is something you need to enroll in. It can be a life-saving choice.
Cardiac Rehabilitation is important when a patient carries a diagnosis of Cardiac Disease, Post Myocardial Infarction, or Heart Failure. Also important for post By-Pass and Heart Transplant Patients once they have healed. Cardiac Rehabilitation helps to reduce some of the risk factors of repeat heart attacks, and continued good health for those who have cardiac disease.
Once scheduled into a Cardiac Rehabilitation Center the patient should have an assessment to design a program that will help the patient achieve the goals for a healthier lifestyle. This program should be designed specifically for each individual and if the center is giving rehabilitation on a general basis please check into other programs in your area.
Patients should be sure that the Cardiac Rehabilitation Center includes, education on cardiac disease and/or the individual form of cardiac surgery and illness the patient has. Training in coping skills such as overcoming fear and depression, stress management, relaxation, and communication.
Patients should be given a personalized exercise program that is created for them personally. Some of the things that should be included in the personal program is monitoring of symptoms, exercise program that will increase when necessary, instruction in a home exercise program.
Most patients in-house at the hospital will be given an inpatient program to participate in while still in the hospital and instructions and a prescription or referral for an outpatient program.
Most hospitals have a Phase I (in-hospital) and Phase II (out-patient program) for all cardiac patients. It will be necessary for the doctors to make sure insurance covers these programs. There are also cardiac rehabilitation programs at many of the YMCA locations in most of the larger cities.
All cardiac rehabilitation programs should have staff that includes dietitians, RN’s, Physician’s, Physiologists, and Exercise specialists. All facilities should have on hand an AKG machine, all the exercise machines needed to accomplish the goals of each program, emergency medical equipment in case of an emergency.
All cardiac patients should have a Cardiologist who will monitor their progression in the program and make any recommendations for changes as is necessary for the health of the patient.