Cardiac Rehabilitation Week

February is Heart Month, and the week of February 13-19, 2022 is recognized as Cardiac Rehabilitation Week. The Decatur County Hospital Cardiac Rehabilitation program is a medically supervised outpatient program designed to improve a patient’s physical, psychological, and social functioning through education and exercise. Cardiac rehab provides a monitored exercise program 2-3 times per week under the supervision of a cardiac nurse, and a multi-disciplinary team. The treatment of each patient is individualized to meet their specific needs.

People of all ages who live with heart conditions can benefit from a cardiac rehab program. You may benefit if you have or have had: 1) a heart attack; 2) a heart condition such as coronary artery disease (CAD), or heart failure; or 3) heart procedures or surgeries including coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), angioplasty, stenting, or valve replacement (TAVR) (AVR).

Our goal is to help you regain strength, reduce your risk of future cardiac events, and improve your health and quality of life. We do this by working with you to: 1) increase exercise tolerance, 2) reduce symptoms of dyspnea (difficulty breathing) and fatigue, 3) reduce weight and stress, 4) improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and 5) assist in smoking cessation.

Our supervised exercise and educational sessions will introduce exercise into your routine, help you choose heart healthy foods, manage stress, and teach you about heart disease so that you may lead a healthy lifestyle.

During your rehabilitation program you will have your heart rate, blood pressure, and rhythm monitored while you exercise using hand weights, a treadmill, a recumbent elliptical, or a recumbent cross training machine. We will start activity slowly, and follow a safe physical activity program that gradually helps you become stronger.

Your personalized program will be developed by you and your cardiac rehab nurse. Your cardiac rehab nurse will arrange an interview with a dietician to help you create a healthy eating plan. Throughout your plan, the cardiac nurse will stay in contact with your cardiologist and primary care physician. Your nurse will use progress notes from your individualized sessions to discuss goals or any concerns.

Cardiac rehab doesn’t change your past, but it can help you improve your heart’s future. Every little step you take toward heart health helps you take the next step, and the step after that.

Patients may attend the cardiac rehab program after a referral from their physician/cardiologist. Medicare, Medicaid and most other major insurance companies cover the cost of cardiac rehab if you meet certain criteria. For more information on our cardiac rehab services please call our Cardiac Rehab Nurse, Deanna Stone, RN, at 641-446-2346.

Deanna Stone, RN
Cardiac Rehab Nurse