Exercise can be a nerve-wracking endeavor for those who have recently suffered a heart attack or undergone a cardiac procedure.
But you can relieve those worries with the hospital-based, monitored exercise program, available at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center and South Strand Medical Center. Patients take comfort in the fact that there is always someone watching out for them as they undergo cardiac rehab. “We show patients how to get in better shape physically and how to take care of themselves to maintain heart health,” says Judy Hardee, RN, director of cardiac rehab. “Our nationally certified cardiac rehab program offers an excellent staff and is supported by our cardiologists and cardiac surgeons.”
How the program works
The cardiac rehab program includes 36 visits, spaced out over three days a week for 12 weeks, and is divided into three phases:
- PHASE 1 (available at Grand Strand Regional) starts when heart patients are still in the hospital. Ability to perform daily activities and exercise tolerance are determined, and patients receive health education resources, such as tips on lifestyle changes.
- PHASE 2 (available at Grand Strand Regional) starts after patients are released from the hospital. Patients begin exercising in the hospital's cardiac rehab facility, where staff familiarize them with exercise equipment and develop a program that is patient-specific. Registered nurses monitor patients as they work out, tracking such vital signs as heart rhythm, heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen intake. Ongoing classes on such topics as a heart-healthy diet and lifestyle changes are also available.
- PHASE 3 (available at Grand Strand Regional and South Strand Medical Center), patients work out in the facility with minimal supervision and receive heart rate and blood pressure monitoring as well as evaluation every six months.
The program is overseen by three cardiologists, who serve as medical directors.