Cardiac Outpatient Rehabilitation
Catholic Health Locations
Outpatient rehabilitation is appropriate for people recovering from:
- Heart attack
- Bypass surgery
- Heart transplant
- Valve repair or replacement
- Congestive heart failure
- Other forms of heart disease
As a result of this program, you'll increase your knowledge of:
- Coronary artery disease
- Healthy diet
- Lifelong aerobic exercises
The Phases of Rehabilitation
Cardiac rehabilitation has three phases.
Phase I takes place in the hospital when you are admitted for a heart attack or other major heart problem. Phase I determines how well you're able to function and the lifestyle changes that are needed to improve your health.
Phase I rehabilitation is not offered at Catholic Health.
Outpatient rehabilitation begins with phase II. The first phase of the outpatient program is a physician supervised/prescribed aerobic exercise and education program that emphasizes lifestyle changes and healthy living. Patients exercise wearing a cardiac monitor for this part of the program. Blood pressure, weight and pulse rates are monitored; glucose is monitored if the patient is diabetic. The usual length of this phase is between 24 to 36 sessions, three times per week.
Phase III consists of supervised exercise but does not include cardiac monitoring during exercise. Blood pressure, weight and pulse rates are monitored; glucose is monitored if the patient is diabetic. Participants are encouraged to maintain a physically active lifestyle and continue to make dietary changes, reduce stress, take medications as prescribed and keep follow up appointments. This phase of the program is indefinite.
All exercise programs in cardiac rehab are individually tailored based on patient's need, medical condition and ability.
Beginning the Program
Patients enroll in cardiac rehabilitation following a cardiac event such as myocardial infarction, open heart surgery, or stent placement. You should receive a prescription from their physician indicating that you are to attend phase II cardiac rehabilitation. If you are eligible and have not received a prescription, you may request one from your physician.
After receiving your prescription, you will meet with one of our staff members who will:
- Obtain/review your medical history
- Perform a physical exam
- Review your current medications and doses
- Measure body fat percentage
- Help you set long-range goals
Exercise Stress Test
Your primary physician or cardiologist may also order an exercise stress test before entering the program. With this information, an individualized exercise program is developed by the cardiology director, registered nurse coordinator and/or exercise physiologist, based on your physician’s recommendations. Exercise programs may include:
- Walking or jogging
- The use of stationary bicycles
- The use of rowers
- The use of benchsteps/stairclimbers
- The use of Airdyne bicycles
- The use of elliptical machines
- The use of treadmills
- The use of arm ergometers and arm weights
Exercises are tailored to fit your physical condition.
Since regular attendance is necessary to achieve maximum physical conditioning and cardiovascular benefit, we encourage you to attend all sessions. Various class times are available to accommodate your personal schedule.