Saint Clare’s offers a comprehensive Cardiac Rehabilitation program that works closely with you and your family to improve your health, and to teach you the skills you need to lead a heart-healthy lifestyle.
Our supervised exercise and education programs are available for people who have experienced:
- Heart attack
- Chest pain (angina)
- Heart bypass surgery
- Valve surgery
- Heart transplant
- Stent placement
Cardiac rehabilitation programs are often divided into three phases, with the first phase beginning while a patient is in the hospital for cardiovascular treatment. Saint Clare’s Cardiac Rehabilitation offers Phase 2 and Phase 3 programs in an outpatient setting.
During Phase 2, early cardiac rehabilitation (8 to 12 weeks), our skilled and very experienced cardiac nurses help you improve your health and quality of life using:
- Monitored Exercise
Our cardiac rehabilitation specialists design an exercise program that helps each patient gradually build cardiovascular fitness. Each exercise session receives close supervision from a registered nurse with cardiac care experience through continuous monitoring of heart rhythm and vital signs in response to exercise. Patients begin by exercising at the hospital. Gradually, after the first several weeks, they may begin to supplement the advanced sessions available at the hospital with home-based exercise at the levels safely achieved in the Cardiac Rehabilitation sessions.
- Nutritional Counseling
Before beginning the program, patients complete a nutritional survey and receive a targeted physical assessment, including some “outcomes measures” such as weight, waist size, and body mass index (BMI). Your program is created just for you and these measurements show your progress over time. Monthly morning and afternoon small group nutrition classes are taught by a Saint Clare’s dietician. These sessions are designed for clients to attend with a family member or friend and focus on the special diet needs of cardiac patients.
- Lifestyle Education
During Cardiac Rehabilitation sessions, patients and interested family members are provided written and one to one education by staff on topics such as the heart and how the heart works, nutrition, stress, medication and how heart disease affects patients and families. Education is an important part of the program which is designed to improve heart health and covers:
Nutrition and weight control
Medication and risk factor education
- Group Support
In addition to the educational information given to patients and family members, many of our patients find it helpful to share with each other their own concerns about their risk factors for heart disease and how they are learning to improve their health – finding, in each other, a welcome informal support group. In fact, patients are often of great help to each other in planning easy ways to make regular exercise, heart healthy nutrition, and stress management part of everyday life. Many patients find the support of other individuals in the program to be key in their efforts to make needed – sometimes challenging – lifestyle changes.
Getting Started: Referral and Evaluation
Patients are referred by their doctor. Insurance coverage for the program varies based on your specific insurance provider. The usual program is three visits a week for 8 to 12 weeks. Saint Clare’s Cardiac Rehabilitation staff can help you understand your primary insurance plan’s coverage.
After referral and an initial screening process (usually including a stress test performed by your cardiologist), you will have a first visit with staff (about 2 hours) to measure your starting level of fitness and the best program for your individual needs. In the first hour, a nurse will sit and talk with you, do an assessment, and a monitored “6 minute walk test”. This will also allow the staff to answer any questions you may have. In the second hour, you will have a short, monitored exercise session in which you are oriented to the routines and exercise devices you will be using in the early weeks of the program.
During the Program
The Cardiac Rehabilitation program blends monitored exercise with education and support to speed your return to health. Soon after beginning the program, most people notice a marked improvement in their level of physical fitness. At the same time, education and support from staff help with the long-term lifestyle changes that reduce cardiac risk factors. We are completely committed to your recovery. Change is never easy, but by attending all scheduled classes and doing your best to follow your program, you can set a new course toward renewed physical ability, independence and better heart health.
Phase 3: After Completion of the Phase 2 Program
Upon completion of the Cardiac Rehabilitation program, you will be given the information you need to continue maintenance exercise and the healthy lifestyle changes you have made. Some patients will go on to exercise at home or in a local gym. For those patients who want to continue exercising at Saint Clare’s with the help and support of the Cardiac Rehabilitation staff, we also offer a self pay Phase 3 (maintenance) program. Saint Clare’s Cardiac Rehabilitation also offers a self pay fitness program (after medical clearance and referral), for individuals who are at risk.
For more information, please fill out our online inquiry form or call 973-625-6020 to speak to our knowledgeable Cardiac Rehabilitation staff. If you would like to participate in Saint Clare’s Cardiac Rehabilitation program, ask your doctor if you are a candidate for cardiac rehabilitation or for our fitness program.
Saint Clare’s Cardiac Rehabilitation
Saint Clare’s Hospital/Denville
25 Pocono Road
Denville, NJ 07834