Cardiac rehabilitation programs are not rocket science, the idea is to provide you with sound advice to help you with your heart health. We know that participating in a cardiac rehabilitation program will save your life. Many cardiac rehabilitation programs lasts only weeks. It is what you do after that becomes very important. It is about receiving vital information so you can live longer and a better quality of life after a heart event. Cardiac education will lead you to ensure that you are exercising safely and effectively, eating well, keeping stress under control and also have an understanding of heart anatomy, medications, tests and procedures.
1. Is it convenient for you? You don’t want to drive long times or be in traffic to get to your program, especially if you have been told not to drive. Every city should have some type of cardiac rehabilitation program. Do they have flexible scheduling options?
a. It is OK to receive the education and start at home. Cardiac rehabilitation is not open heart surgery, the idea is to ensure you get the correct information and have someone from your cardiac rehabilitation program to provide you with sound advice as you progress with your heart health.
2. Do they have qualified staff? Staff should be certified to deal with patients with cardiac rehabilitation. This should be nurses, exercise physiologists, counselors or dietitians. All cardiac rehabilitation professionals should be certified by a reputable organization to do what they do.
You don’t necessarily have to have a doctor on staff, but it is important that your family doctor stays well-informed of your progress.
a. During the exercise program do they have the ability to monitor you? This will be important starting your program.
i. Blood pressure
ii. Heart rate
iii. Heart rhythm (ECG)
iv. Oxygen Saturation
v. Blood sugar
3. Is your cardiac rehabilitation staff keeping up to date?
a. Staff should attend regular meetings or obtain continuing education.
b. With social media look at them online and see how interactive they are with YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook.
4. Make sure staff patient ratio is acceptable? Ideally when doing the supervised exercise program it would be best to be one-on-one, especially early to get your specific concerns addressed, but the larger the group the harder it is to focus on your requirements. Especially if there is an emergency, so look and ask what the staff to patient ratios is and make sure that you are comfortable with it. Going to a group format once you are comfortable (after receiving a personalized approach) may work for you.
5. Make sure the cardiac rehabilitation program focuses on all aspects of your heart health. Your program should include a comprehensive education on your heart health which includes exercise, nutrition, and stress management (depression, anxiety or anger). You should be able to understand your risk factors and medications.
6. Do they have a long-term program? Most cardiac rehabilitation programs have the option or guidance to provide you after you finish their program. Only one in three people continue with their program after they have completed it. The idea is to have a good plan to continue with your heart health.
7. Do they make you happy? This may sound funny but going to a cardiac rehabilitation program should make you feel happy. Happiness is a key factor to thriving with heart disease. Do you feel respected? Do you feel trusted? Do you feel important? Our self-esteem and/or self-confidence may be pretty low after a heart event so it is important that you feel confident and improve your self-esteem and it starts with a good vibe.
Most cardiac rehabilitation programs cost money to attend as they will have a supervised exercise program to it. If you truly want to excel it is important to invest in your heart health. Because you are investing in your heart health it does not hurt to get various educations to help you. Reading and educating yourself is important so that you can become an expert at your heart health. Remember that you are responsible for your heart you can become an expert at your heart health. Remember that you are responsible for your heart health, not your doctors, not your healthcare workers, just you