Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist – Overview | Cardiology

cardiac rehabilitation specialist

Who is a cardiac rehabilitation specialist?

A cardiac rehabilitation therapist also called a cardiac rehabilitation specialist, develops nutrition, exercise and education programs to promote wellness and fortify patients who have undergone heart surgery or who have chronic heart disease.

Cardiac rehabilitation has been shown to help patients live longer after developing heart disease. Our cardiac rehabilitation specialist teams develop customized programs that combine exercise and education to help patients safely recover from heart disease, heart surgery, or a cardiac event such as a heart attack.

Our cardiac rehabilitation specialist remains in close contact with the patients’ cardiologists and referring physicians. We inform the patients’ physicians of any concerns regarding their heart rate, heart function or blood pressure or if there is a reason to adjust their medications.

Members of the patient’s cardiac rehabilitation specialist may include:

  • Cardiologists
  • Exercise physiologists
  • Counsellors
  • Physical therapists
  • Dietitians

Responsibilities of a cardiac rehabilitation specialist

A cardiac rehabilitation specialist might be required to play out any or the entirety of the accompanying obligations:

  • Help the patient understand their condition

One of the most important things and responsibilities that a cardiac rehabilitation specialist takes on is helping the patient understand their condition and how their medical system will be structured. This includes helping them understand the changes they may need to make in their normal routine and what to expect moving forward.

  • Explain the course of treatment

The other main responsibility of the cardiac rehabilitation specialist revolves around explaining the course of treatment plans and helping them understand when a patient may be able to resume their normal activities.

Since patients may experience fatigue while suffering from heart and lung disease, the patient may be keen to know when they can return to normal life and not feel tired. The main responsibility is to educate them about what a recovery schedule looks like and how quickly they can expect to recover.

  • Provide counselling, coaching, and support based on patient concerns

As noted earlier, patients may have concerns related to their recent diagnosis and understanding of their medical condition. Cardiac rehabilitation specialists may be concerned about what their future will look like, how difficult the future will be and any concerns they might have about their treatment plan. A patient who understands his future care plan and remains positive about his future prospects, will stick to it closely and increase the chances of improving his overall well-being.

  • Identify risk factors

The other responsibility of the cardiac rehabilitation specialist is to determine any risk factors that may contribute to the patient’s disease. This includes things like high blood pressure, smoking, poor diet or obesity. There are other risk factors to be aware of that can contribute to a patient’s heart and lung risks and diseases.

If you can identify them, you can work on a treatment plan about reducing these risks and educating the patient about why they need to be avoided.

  • Educate the patient about their risk factors

Another responsibility of cardiopulmonary rehabilitation specialists is to educate the patient about his or her risk factors and how these risk factors might slow down his recovery or worsen it over time if changes are not made. Educating the patient about their risk factors also revolves around educating them about how these risk factors affect their commitment to the lifestyle changes needed to improve their health.

  • Identify potential interventions that may reduce health risks

When a patient has to drastically change his lifestyle to improve his well-being and lead a healthy life, these interventions are known as interventions. As a specialist in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, the other primary responsibility is to determine which and all interventions can be used to help reduce their risks and relapse into an unhealthy lifestyle.

  • Educating the patient about key lifestyle changes

The other primary responsibility of the cardiopulmonary rehabilitation specialists is to educate the patient about some of the major lifestyle changes they will need to make to improve their wellness. This may include educating them about the foods they need to refrain from and the foods they should eat. Recommending how often they should do exercises based on their current routine and the benefits of participating in such activities. 

Why is this cardiac rehabilitation program important?

Cardiac rehabilitation specialist can save many lives. It can help prevent future heart problems, heart events, and related deaths. According to studies, people who go to cardiac rehabilitation have up to 30% fewer fatal heart conditions, and a 25% lower risk of death compared to people who receive standard treatment alone. Cardiac rehabilitation specialist can also reduce their chances of having a second heart attack or heart surgery.

People enrolled in this program usually have greater success when it comes to controlling other cardiovascular risk factors (for example, high blood pressure or cholesterol). This is because cardiac rehabilitation programs are comprehensive, fully patient-centred and providing them with the tools and information needed to make long-term health changes.

Other benefits include:

  • Less chest pain and in some cases, less medication to treat it
  • Preventing future hospitalization
  • Weight loss
  • Better nutrition and knowledge of how to make heart-healthy choices
  • Reducing stress and increasing emotional well-being

Who should take part in cardiac rehab?

Many people with a range of heart problems can benefit from a cardiac rehabilitation specialist. It is often recommended for people who have:

  • A recent heart attack
  • Stable pain in the chest also called angina
  • Heart failure
  • Cardiac procedures such as percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), which includes an angioplasty or heart stent
  • Heart surgery, such as coronary artery bypass surgery or heart valve repair or replacement
  • Heart or heart-lung transplant

What is the cardiac rehab program?

Your cardiac rehabilitation program is designed to meet your needs. It is supervised by a cardiac rehabilitation specialist and a team of heart health providers. Your program may last from about a month and a half to over a year.

The goal of cardiac rehabilitation specialist is to help relieve symptoms and make your heart as healthy as possible. It may include your program:

  • Exercise program: This makes you fitter and helps your heart function better.
  • Classes to help you change your lifestyle and habits: For instance, classes and back to assist you with stopping smoking. Or you can take a nutrition class to learn how to eat better.
  • Stress management: You will learn how to manage stress to reduce your anxiety.
  • This will help you learn about your own condition and how to cope with it.
  • Occupational therapy: This is to help you prepare to return to work or to manage the normal activities of daily life.

After cardiac rehabilitation

After the cardiac rehabilitation program ends, you will generally need to continue the diet, exercise, and other healthy lifestyle habits that you have learned for the rest of your life to maintain the heart health benefits. The goal is that, at the end of the program, you are confident exercising on your own and enabling you to maintain a healthier lifestyle.

Results

Cardiac rehabilitation is a long-term maintenance program and you’ll generally need to continue the habits and skills you learned in the program for the rest of your life. After about three months, you will likely have developed your own exercise routine at home or at your local gym.

You can also continue to exercise at a cardiac rehabilitation centre, fitness centre, or club. You can also exercise with friends or family. You can remain under medical supervision during this time, especially if you have special health concerns.

Education about nutrition, lifestyle, and a healthy weight may continue, in addition to counselling. To get the most benefits from cardiac rehabilitation, make sure your exercises and lifestyle practices become lifelong habits.

In the long term, you can:

  • Gain strength
  • Learn heart-healthy behaviours, such as regular exercise and a heart-healthy diet
  • Stop bad habits and such as smoking
  • Control your weight
  • Find ways to manage stress
  • Learn how to deal with heart disease
  • Reduce your risk of coronary artery disease and other heart diseases

Often one of the most important benefits of cardiac rehabilitation is to improve your overall quality of life. If you stick to your cardiac rehabilitation program, you may drop out of the program and feel better than before. You have a heart condition or have had heart surgery.

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