Your pathway through cardiac rehabilitation
Usually your pathway through cardiac rehabilitation will begin while you are an inpatient at the hospital. This section of the website will give you further information on what takes place during different milestones of your cardiac rehab journey.
It is possible for you to be referred to cardiac rehabilitation without an inpatient stay by either your cardiologist or your GP.
All patients referred to cardiac rehabilitation will be seen in an initial clinic, be offered exercise and education sessions and a pathway into long term exercise.
Once you have been discharged from hospital a cardiac rehabilitation clinic appointment will be made for you. Usually this will be within two weeks of discharge; however after surgery this may be up to four weeks following discharge.
Your cardiac rehabilitation clinic will give you an opportunity to meet a member of the cardiac rehabilitation team and discuss your diagnosis, condition or any procedures that you have undergone. During the clinic the cardiac rehabilitation practitioner will also discuss your current medications as well as any aspects of your lifestyle relevant to your condition. Risk factors of heart disease will be discussed and goals can be set with the aim of reducing any further complications to your recovery and your long term health.
Your cardiac rehabilitation practitioner will check your resting blood pressure and heart rate to ensure that they are both at healthy levels. If these are outside a healthy range the rehabilitation team will liaise with your doctor to ensure that medications are adjusted accordingly.
The team will talk to you about what they can do to aid your recovery. If you are happy to attend you will be offered an appointment at cardiac rehabilitation exercise sessions, which take place at many venues throughout North Staffordshire.
Following your clinic appointment you will be offered the opportunity to undertake exercise at various community-based venues in North Staffordshire with members of the cardiac rehabilitation team. These sessions will last for up to an hour and will take place once-a-week for eight weeks.
Exercise sessions will be individually tailored to any exercise considerations that you have and any of your own personal preferences. For some individuals it may be possible to attend more than once per week. These additional sessions will not be under the direct supervision of the rehabilitation team, although your exercise programme will be recorded for you to follow. For individuals not able to attend gym-based exercise, an exercise programme that you are able to complete on your own at home can be devised and supplied by the cardiac rehabilitation team.
Throughout the year education sessions take place to provide a greater insight into your diagnosis, condition and any procedures that you have undergone. These education sessions are open to yourself, as well as your family and friends. Upcoming dates of education sessions will be available from any member of the cardiac rehabilitation team. Subjects covered during these sessions include:
- The coronary system and treatments
- What is heart failure?
- Exercise and stress management
- Dietary advice
While you are still an inpatient at the hospital a member of the cardiac rehabilitation team may visit you to discuss your diagnosis and any procedures that you may have undergone. During this initial contact the cardiac rehabilitation practitioner will advice you on what activities and exercise your should be doing following discharge, as well as any immediate changes to your lifestyle that you should consider to reduce your risk of any further complications.
During this visit you will be supplied with the British Heart Foundation's booklets on cardiac rehabilitation and reducing cholesterol, as well as information leaflets covering many frequently asked questions and useful contact phone numbers, including those for the cardiac rehabilitation team.
Following completion of your exercise sessions with the cardiac rehabilitation team you will be given the opportunity to continue exercising at your chosen venue with a BACPR (British Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation) trained exercise instructor. This will allow you to independently attend the gym whenever you want, as often as you want.
Your exercise instructor will be available to advise on any progressions and give assistance if required. This continuation of exercise will last between six and twelve weeks and, depending on the venue that you are attending, may have a cost associated with it.