Phases of Cardiac Rehabilitation

Phase I

Phase I starts while the patient is in the hospital. The cardiac rehab staff works with patients recovering from a heart attack or cardiac surgery beginning with gradual exercise. Exercise activities include short walks and stretching activities. Vital signs and ECG are monitored during the activities. Education is provided by the staff including topics such as heart disease, exercise and risk factors modification.

Phase II

Phase II is an outpatient program held three times a week for about 12 weeks or as prescribed by the referring physician. During each exercise session, participants wear a cardiac monitor that allows the clinicians to assess heart rate and rhythm through ECG monitoring. Each session lasts about one hour and ACLS certified healthcare professionals supervise the exercise activities. Exercise intensity is gradually increased to assist the patient in improving their cardiovascular fitness level and resuming their normal daily activities. The referring physician will receive progress reports throughout the duration of the program. Education, goal setting and support for lifestyle modification are integral parts of Phase II.

Phase III

Phase III of cardiac rehabilitation is for those who have completed Phase II or have a high risk for future cardiac events and involves a more independent exercise program monitored by ACLS trained staff. This phase focuses on individualized exercise programming, goal setting, and monitoring of resting and exercise vital signs. Phase III is a long term maintenance program and is appropriate for those patients interested in decreasing their risk factors and implementing a health lifestyle. For more information, please contact the Cardiac Rehab Department at 832-912-3634.

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