What does a cardiac rehab nurse do?

Cardiac Rehab Nurse

Where you’ll meet them

If your hospital stay is planned, you may meet them before you go in, or otherwise on the ward after you’ve had your surgery or procedure, and often also in a cardiac rehab programme that you start in the weeks following your hospital stay.

What they’ll do

Give you information about having a heart-healthy lifestyle, both so you can be as fit as possible for surgery and to help you keep as healthy as possible afterwards. They’ll work as part of a team that usually also includes dietitians and exercise specialists.

Making the most of them

Ask any questions you may have about what’s going to happen, or any aspect of living with a heart condition. It’s fine for family members to be there when you meet the cardiac rehab nurse, to deal with any concerns they have and so that they can help you make lifestyle changes. 

Training

At least three years nursing training, followed by specialist training.

What they say

Julia Alexander, cardiac rehabilitation nurse at the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Glasgow, says: “We want people to know that we are here for them. We will see them after surgery and at their discharge meeting. We have an advice line for if they have any questions after they have gone home. Often we can help deal with their fears, which is very rewarding.”

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