Cardiac Rehabilitation

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North Country Hospital’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program is the medically prescribed treatment for those individuals who have heart disease, such as a heart attack. rehab_opt

Implemented through North Country Hospital’s Cardiopulmonary Health and Rehabilitation, this team of health care specialists is committed to helping their patients learn and practice healthy
lifestyle changes.

Through a well-monitored program of education and exercise, participants work on the goal of improving their quality of life by safely increasing their activities of daily living while reducing further risks of heart disease and its complications. For more informationabout Cardiac Rehabilitation at North Country Hospital talk to your health care provider or contact our Cardiac Rehabilitation Office at 334.3264

At North Country Hospital, the Cardiac Rehabilitation (Rehab) team consists of the patient, the patient’s primary care provider, a cardiologist, and specially trained physical therapists, registered nurses, and registered dietitians. The Cardiac Rehab Program is comprised of three phases.

Phase I
The goal of Phase I Cardiac Rehab is to provide the hospitalized cardiac patient with the educational, physical and emotional support necessary to function independently and safely after discharge from the hospital.

While in the hospital with a heart attack or angina (heart-related chest pain), a patient meets with a specially trained physical therapist twice a day for 15 to 30 minutes. Starting in intensive care and continuing until discharge, the patient gradually increases activity from gentle arm and leg exercises to climbing stairs before discharge.

Education about heart disease is critical in this phase. Beginning with “What is a heart attack?” and proceeding to a general understanding of the risk factors for heart disease, our Cardiac Rehab Nurse uses books, pamphlets and videos to prepare cardiac patients for their healthy new lifestyle.

A registered dietitian discusses healthy eating habits and helps the patient plan for the dietary restrictions that the physician may order.

Patients receive written guidelines for continuing the appropriate activity and exercise progression at home. Outpatient follow-up is recommended and patients are encouraged to proceed to Phase II of Cardiac Rehabilitation.

Phase II
The goal of Phase II Cardiac Rehab is to assist the participant in restoring and maintaining his/her highest level of function ~ physically, mentally, and socially ~ while supporting the participant and family members in the long-term commitment toward healthy lifestyle changes.

Phase II is a 12-week out-patient program for those who are referred by their health care provider. The program begins with a graded exercise test (stress test) and the participant is monitored throughout the 12 weeks by the registered nurse, physical therapist, and the physician director of Cardiac Rehab. The participant’s primary health care provider receives regular reports on his/ her progress.

Phase II participants meet three times weekly and components include supervised, progressive exercise three times a week and a weekly educational session. Beginning with a 10-minute warm-up, working up to 30 minutes of exercise and ending with a 10-minute cool-down, patients are monitored for heart rhythm, rate, and blood pressure. Emergency equipment and a physician are readily available at all times.

Phase III
The goal of Phase III Cardiac Rehab is to provide a maintenance program in cardiovascular health (for healthy heart and circulation) for individuals who have had heart disease (such as a heart attack) or are at risk for heart disease. Ultimately, the individual goal is to achieve and maintain a healthy, vigorous lifestyle.

Phase III is for graduates of Phase II Cardiac Rehab or for appropriate candidates who meet the following qualifications:

* are able to monitor their own pulse
* have the written approval of their primary health care provider
* have recently had a stress test (graded exercise test.)

Phase III participants also meet three times weekly for one-hour exercise sessions, with approximately three or four participants per session. While participants are more independent than those in Phase II, they are still carefully monitored and the Cardiac Rehab staff is available at all times to answer questions and help with any problems that might arise.

Because Phase III might not be covered by various health insurance companies, a monthly fee is charged for the program and discounts are offered for a 3, 6, or 12 month contract.