Cardiac rehabilitation specialists work with patients who have diseases of the lungs and/or heart and help them improve or recover from their conditions; these can range from heart disease and heart attacks to respiratory problems, such as asthma.
These specialists educate patients so they can care for themselves when at home, so strong communication skills are important in this position. They usually work with other medical personnel in order to understand patients' situations, and will work with them in order to understand what has brought on their conditions to determine what changes in medical treatments should be made. They may also give advice on physical activities that should be done and what sorts of dietary changes may be necessary.
It is important to be familiar with all sorts of foods, physical activities, and medical terminology, and maintaining a large network of community services to assist patients is also important. These specialists must always monitor the progress of patients, as some may revert to old habits as time goes on. It's also important to encourage the involvement of patients' families to ensure optimism and, hopefully, successful recovery.
A bachelor’s degree in a field such as nursing, physical therapy, or cardiology is generally required for this position, and certification as a registered clinical exercise physiologist may also be required.
Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist Tasks
Educate patients in recording and monitoring their progress, proper use of equipment and executing at home exercises.
Record medical history and vitals of patient.
Record and maintain patient records; report any changes or symptoms to physician.
Perform patient evaluations to determine suitability for program.
Create cardiac rehabilitation program goals and exercise guidelines.