Cardiac Rehabilitation

What is Cardiac Rehabilitation?

Cardiac rehabilitation is a medically supervised program to help patients recover from an acute cardiovascular event such as a myocardial infarction (heart attack), coronary artery bypass surgery, repair/replacement of a heart valve, percutaneous coronary intervention (such as coronary stent placement), heart failure, and angina. Cardiac rehab provides services to help heart patients increase physical fitness, reduce cardiac symptoms, improve health and reduce the risk of future heart problems, including heart attack.

Phase I Inpatient

This phase begins with the patient in the hospital recovering from a cardiac event. Emphasis is placed on education for the patient and family. The educational process includes the use of audio-visual aids, printed materials, and counseling with the patient and family. The following topics may be addressed during Phase 1:

  • Anatomy and physiology of the heart and cardiovascular system
  • Identifying risk factors for heart disease
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Heart healthy diet
  • Stress management
  • Activity and exercise guidelines
  • Pre & post procedure teaching: open heart surgery, stent placement, Implantable Cardiac Defibrillator (ICD) and Electrophysiology/Ablation Studies (EP)
  • Smoking cessation
  • Heart failure
  • Anticoagulation therapy (blood thinners)
Phase II Outpatient

This phase is a structured, outpatient program for patients with heart disease. It focuses on exercise, education, and support. The Cardiac Rehabilitation program generally includes 36 sessions over the course of three months, with three sessions per week. Patients exercise in the Cardiac Rehabilitation outpatient center while the staff of Registered Nurses and Exercise Physiologists monitors the patient’s responses to exercise. Patients in Phase II are typically monitored with cardiac telemetry for the duration of the program. Exercise levels on each piece of equipment are adjusted regularly by an Exercise Physiologist, based on heart rate performance, the patient's level of comfort and their physician’s directions to provide maximal safe progress in exercise capacity.

Benefits of Cardiac Rehabilitation:

  • Live longer and lessen your chances for another heart attack
  • Control heart disease symptoms such as chest pain or shortness of breath
  • Stop or reverse damage to your blood vessels in your heart
  • Lessen the physical and emotional effects of heart disease
  • Improve your stamina and strength, getting you back to your usual activities, including work, hobbies, and regular exercise
  • Improve your confidence and well-being


NCH Cardiac Rehabilitation Offers:

Assessment of your personal risk factors for heart and blood vessel disease

Education and support to make healthy lifestyle changes such as:
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Heart healthy eating
  • Medication adherence
  • Stress reduction

Beginning and maintaining a personalized exercise plan that works for you

Monitoring and better control of:
  • Blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Symptoms

Psychological/stress assessment

Opportunity to meet and share stories with other patients like you

Improved communication with your doctor and other healthcare providers about your progress

Insurance Coverage & Physician Referral

Most insurance plans help cover the cost of cardiac rehabilitation.  Check with your health insurance provider for specific coverage information before starting cardiac rehabilitation.   You will need a referral from your physician to participate in the program.