A cardiac rehabilitation nurse is a healthcare professional who focuses on helping patients prevent and recover from heart disease. The nurse must work with patients to help plan and change exercise routines, eating habits, stress levels and medication. With many years of learning and experience, a cardiac rehab nurse can help patients recover from heart problems.
A cardiac rehabilitation nurse will, in many cases, be required to have a nursing degree. This overall understanding of the nursing profession will be combined with a specialization on cardiac illnesses. By learning about how the heart functions, types of heart disease and the best treatments, a nurse will be prepared for the daily tasks associated with this profession.
There are many duties for a cardiac rehab nurse, but all jobs revolve around finding ways to care for the heart. The primary job is working with patients to restructure their lifestyle into a more heart-healthy manner. Nurses administer treadmill stress tests, discuss and research healthy low-cholesterol meal planning, provide guidance about effective exercise regimens and offer help to stop smoking. By teaching and encouraging these lifestyle changes, a nurse can effectively help heart disease sufferers live longer.
A cardiac rehabilitation nurse needs a strong set of skills to accomplish all of these tasks. Chief among these talents is a strong ability for interpersonal communications. Nurses often discover patients who are unwilling to change their lifestyle, so she must be able to successfully communicate the benefits of her suggestions. A passion for research also is necessary, because the world of cardiac health is constantly evolving. Learning the latest techniques and information about the heart can help save lives.
A nurse who specializes in cardiac rehabilitation is found in many roles and in many medical facilities. The hospital is the most popular place to practice this specialized type of nursing, but ambulatory care centers, community health centers, work sites and fitness centers also have cardiac rehabilitation nurses. In these various locations, the nurse can also hold a variety of roles in order to help fight heart disease. Being a staff nurse is a common position, but cardiac nurses are also found as a clinical nurse specialist, nurse manager, coordinator, supervisor, director, executive, educator and researcher.
Caring for the body's most vital organ is an important job that requires a lot of education and comes with a lot of responsibility. By helping with lifestyle changes in eating and exercise, a cardiac rehabilitation nurse can help improve a heart disease sufferer's life. This position offers a lot of flexibility.