• Last modified 818 days ago (March 17, 2022)


Cardiac rehab good for heart

Staff writer

A poster on Theresa Ross’s office bulletin board tells her patients “I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy. I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.”

The cardiac rehab nurse at St. Luke Hospital works with patients who come to her frightened after diagnosis of a heart problem. She tries to help them improve the condition of their heart so they don’t end up in the hospital again.

“By the time they get to me, they’re ready to do anything to stay out of the hospital,” she said. “They come in here and wonder if they can get better.”

Along the way, she helps them improve energy levels, emotional well-being, blood pressure and cholesterol level, and stress. Some patients lose weight.

“Personally, why I like working with cardiac rehab is, I get to see patients improve,” Ross said.

Improvement, though, does not come without hard work.

The program is for patients who have had a heart attack, coronary artery disease, angina, congestive heart failure, bypass surgery, heart catheterization or stent placement, valve replacement, or a pacemaker.

The program offers physical activity program, counseling and education, and support and training so patients can return to normal activities.

Like any muscle, the heart to be worked in order to be strong, and when patients develop a cardiac disease, the heart must be forced to work harder to regain its strength.

“It’s like working a bicep muscle,” Ross said. “If you never get it pumping good, it’s never going to get in condition. It’s like aerobic cardio training.”

Last modified March 17, 2022