Cardiac rehabilitation the key to recovery from heart attack and surgery
Twice a week a group of cardiac patients meet in the RPA gym for a session of aerobic exercise, tai chi, weights and education about heart health.
What makes them special is that each one has recently experienced a cardiac event, such as a heart attack, heart failure, stent or surgery for a heart condition.
Cardiac rehabilitation is a key part of recovery from a cardiac event and Sydney Local Health District provides this essential service to help people return to an active life and reduce the risk of further cardiovascular events.
The sessions are run at health facilities by qualified professionals including cardiac nurses and physiotherapists. RPA cardiac nurse Fiona Skarligos says this helps patients overcome fears they may have about exercising following a heart attack or surgery.
"Cardiac rehabilitation is not just about physical recovery – it's also about providing education and emotional support to be able to give people the confidence to self-manage their heart condition better, setting them up for long-term recovery," she said.
All patients are assessed individually by a cardiac nurse and supported by a team of multidisciplinary health professionals to create a co-ordinated program of long-term care. This may involve face to face sessions at the gym or health coaching via phone.
Cardiac rehabilitation is available at all our hospitals and patients graduate to community-based or primary health care-based rehabilitation following a 10 to 16 week program.
This week the "Don't get the sits" campaign by the Heart Foundation is encouraging all Australians to get moving and keep your heart strong, because like any other muscle your heart needs exercise.
To see more photos of RPA Cardiac Rehabilitation, click here