Cardiac rehab is a medically supervised program designed to improve your cardiovascular health if you have experienced heart attack, heart failure, angioplasty (coronary stent) or heart surgery. Cardiac rehab has two essential parts:
- Exercise counseling and training: Exercise gets your heart pumping and your entire cardiovascular system working. You’ll learn how to get your body moving in ways that promote heart health.
- Education for heart-healthy living: A key element of cardiac rehab is educating yourself: How can you manage your risk factors? Quit smoking? Make heart-healthy nutrition choices?
At Sheridan Memorial Hospital’s cardiac rehab program, you’ll partner with our team of nurses and exercise specialists to take charge of the choices, lifestyle and habits that affect your heart.
The Patient’s Perspective
February 2023 — Just over a year ago, we told you about Tom McClain who has been in the SMH Cardiopulmonary Rehab program since 2019. We thought we would check in on him and learned that he continues to participate in the maintenance program, now logging over 320 sessions over the last three years!
Tom says that since we last talked to him he had cardiac ablation, a procedure to block his heart from producing irregular or abnormal rhythms, and also has his pacemaker replaced. He is very grateful to have the program and the beautiful space to work out in. “This is a safe place for cardiac and pulmonary patients and that’s why I come here. It makes me feel better and it’s not hard to make myself come because there are people here who are expecting me. Coming to exercise here is just part of my weekly routine.”
He still considers himself one of our “regulars,” saying: “I come twice a week. Socialization is really important to me – there are three of us who come at the same time, and it makes exercising fun. We have a lot in common and encourage each other to do our best. I live alone and really look forward to spending time here.”
“What I particularly like about the hospital program is that there is always a nurse or staff member who monitors me – taking my blood pressure and checking my oxygen levels as I go about my workout. It’s comforting to have a professional on hand, observing me and making sure I’m doing ok. Besides that, I’m on oxygen, and it is so convenient that I can just plug my oxygen line into the wall as I exercise,” Tom adds.
He has also participated in the educational classes offered to patients in the Pulmonary Rehab program.
The Caring Staff
Because our patients come so often, the Cardiopulmonary staff really gets to know each individual. A typical program runs from 18-36 sessions, so we learn a lot about our patients: their likes and dislikes, what they care about, and the goals they have. This also helps us develop a plan together with the patient, to reduce their risk of developing worsening heart disease. It can also help us provide continued encouragement for the individual to accomplish a health goal like quitting smoking. If our patients don’t show up, we call to check on them and encourage them to continue their workouts.
Pulmonary rehabilitation is a supervised education and exercise program designed to help people with chronic (long-term) lung diseases. It will not cure your lung disease, but you may notice fewer breathing problems, more strength and improved quality of life.
If you have COPD, cystic fibrosis, lung cancer, post COVID-19 conditions, or other breathing-related problems, pulmonary rehabilitation is a program that may help improve your quality of life. Nurses, exercise specialists, and respiratory therapists will teach you new skills and supervise exercise programs to increase your strength.
A physician order is required to participate in cardiac or pulmonary rehab. If you have had a heart attack, heart failure, or heart surgery, or if you have a chronic lung condition, ask your doctor if you could be eligible to be enrolled in cardiac or pulmonary rehab. For more information, call Cardiopulmonary Rehab at Sheridan Memorial Hospital 307.672.1062.