What is cardiac rehabilitation?
Cardiac Rehabilitation at the St. Joseph Heart Institute is an exercise and education program, especially designed to help heart patients reduce or control cardiac risk factors, improve cardiovascular fitness and actually learn to thrive with heart disease.
We work with men and women who have experienced heart attacks, have undergone cardiac surgery or coronary angioplasty, (PTCA) or stent placement.
What is the program like?
In the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program we focus on:
- Nutrition and weight control
- Stress management
We tailor individual programs to fit your needs. Staff members keep thorough records during your rehabilitation, sharing all information with you and your physicians.
Whenever you exercise, you will be connected to an EKG monitor with staff supervising and assessing your exercise session.
How does the program work?
There are three phases in St. Joseph Heart Institute’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program.
Phase I is for patients hospitalized for heart disease. This phase focuses on education and safe progression of activity.
Phase II consists of EKG-monitored exercise sessions, educational classes and individual teaching. EKG monitoring provides safety during exercise sessions and serves as one way to evaluate progress. The monitoring also provides your physician with information to make adjustments in your medical treatment.
Before you begin the Phase II program, you will go through one-on-one orientation with the staff. You will have an opportunity to become familiar with the facility and the staff, which includes cardiac nurses, a registered dietitian and an administrative technician.
Then you will begin a progressive, supervised and monitored exercise program three times a week. All equipment is state-of-the-art and designed for your Care.
In addition, you’ll participate in education classes on heart disease, nutrition, stress management and lifestyle changes. As you learn how to reduce your cardiac risk factors, you’ll learn to enhance the quality of your life.
Phase III is a maintenance program that provides a safe and enjoyable atmosphere for individuals who have completed phase II and wish to continue on with their lifestyle choices and changes adopted during their phase II program.
Is my spouse part of the program?
We encourage spouses or loved ones to come to the sessions and to be actively involved in the educational component of the program. We know that if this happens, you’ll have the best possible chance for long-term success.
Learning to adjust to lifestyle changes can be a difficult experience for heart patients. Along with other patients and the staff, spouses and loved ones become part of a support group that listens to your concerns and offer you ongoing encouragement during your recovery.
When do I begin the program?
You and your physician decide a starting point. Some patients begin cardiac rehabilitation while they’re still in the hospital. Others wait a few weeks after they’ve had cardiac problems.
How long does the program last?
The formal Phase II program lasts 12 weeks with sessions coordinated three times a week. Many patients enroll in the maintenance program after they finish Phase II. They find their motivation remains high when they continue to work closely with professionals who are aware of their health risks and who are close at hand while they exercise.
Does insurance cover cardiac rehabilitation?
Many insurance companies offer reimbursement for cardiac rehabilitation programs (except maintenance) when such services are prescribed by a physician. Our administrative technician will assist you in obtaining this information from your insurance carrier.
Where is the Cardiac Rehabilitation Center?
Cardiac Rehabilitation is located in the Community Center for Health and Education on the medical center’s campus and is contained in a spacious facility that include exercise areas with heart-monitoring equipment, classrooms, showers and comfortable waiting areas for spouses and friends accompanying patients.
What if my physician is not affiliated with St. Joseph Medical Center?
Not all cardiac rehabilitation patients receive prior treatment at St. Joseph Medical Center, nor are all their physicians affiliated with the medical center. Many cardiac patients come to us with their physicians’ blessings because of the quality of our care and our convenient location. Whether or not your physician is affiliated with St. Joseph, we will work closely with him to tailor the right program to ensure you get the best rehabilitative care possible.
If you would like to know more about Cardiac Rehabilitation, arrange a visit or find out how to enroll, call us at 816-943-7600.