Comprehensive Heart Care and Prevention in a Single, Integrated System
Cardiac rehabilitation is a medically supervised program that helps heart patients feel better faster after surgery and gain energy to get back to living their lives.
At Hackensack Meridian Health, our multidisciplinary cardiac rehab teams include experts in cardiovascular disease, exercise physiology, nutrition and behavioral health. Using the latest equipment and techniques, the team teaches patients how to exercise safely, eat better, manage stress and maintain heart-healthy habits for a lifetime.
In addition to providing expert cardiovascular care, our cardiologists and specialists take part in cutting-edge research to improve the quality of life for people with cardiovascular disease. This comprehensive approach and pursuit of excellence make our cardiac rehab programs among the most popular in New Jersey. Our patients enjoy convenient cardiac rehab at academic medical centers and community hospitals throughout the state.
Recognized for Superior Care
The cardiac rehabilitation programs at Hackensack University Medical Center, Mountainside Medical Center and JFK Medical Center’s are certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. In May 2018, JFK Medical Centers’ Cardiac Lab was awarded the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Chest Pain Center with PCI Accreditation and Cardiac Lab Accreditation. JFK is the only hospital in New Jersey to achieve this new ACC recognition Patients trust our skilled, coordinated teams recognized for the highest quality of care and commitment to continuous improvement.
Who Needs Cardiac Rehabilitation?
Cardiac rehab is for people recovering from a heart procedure or who have a heart condition that affects life quality, such as:
- Angioplasty or another interventional cardiology procedure
- Congestive heart failure
- Heart attack
- Heart surgery, including heart valve surgery or coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery
- Heart transplant
- Pulmonary hypertension
What to Expect During Cardiac Rehab
Patients referred to our cardiovascular rehabilitation program participate in a plan that is customized to their condition, goals and preferences. The program includes daily activities to help reduce heart disease symptoms and lower the risk for more serious problems in the future.
Cardiac rehab can range from six or 12 weeks to several months, depending on the patient. The initial stage may begin while patients are in the hospital after surgery or other heart procedure. All programs include the following:
Medical Oversight and Monitoring
During exercise, a nurse monitors blood pressure, heart rate and other vital signs as needed to keep patients safe and track their improvement. The cardiac rehab team updates each participant’s physician throughout the program.
An exercise physiologist develops a fitness plan for patients to begin exercising safely at their own pace, while physical therapists and fitness specialists teach proper form to prevent injuries. Exercise sessions are usually scheduled three times a week for about an hour.
Heart-Healthy Education and Workshops
Dietitians, nurses and other health care specialists teach patients how to eat better and develop healthy habits that fit their tastes and lifestyle. Weekly, hour-long classes cover a range of topics. Family members are welcome and encouraged to attend classes. Topics include:
- Managing stress
- Controlling weight
- Quitting smoking
- Managing pain
- And more
The cardiac rehab team is always available to guide and educate our patients, and also offer emotional support. Psychologists and counselors help participants cope with living with heart disease. Our support groups provide encouragement from others on the same journey.
Your Cardiac Rehab Team
Our rehab team works with each participant’s primary care doctor, cardiologists and other specialists to personalize their program. This team includes a variety of specialists depending on the condition, including:
- Cardiac nurses have specialized training to care for people with heart disease.
- Physiatrists are physicians who specialize in physical rehabilitation.
- Registered dietitians are nutrition and diet experts who help people eat better.
- Exercise physiologists develop personalized exercise programs.
- Physical therapists help patients improve physical function through stretching and exercises.
- Occupational therapists help patients perform everyday tasks safely to prevent injury.
- Behavioral health specialists — such as psychologists, psychiatrists or counselors — help patients manage stress and cope with heart disease.
- Social workers or case managers plan care during a patient’s hospital stay and help anticipate needs at home.
Bayshore Medical Center
Hackensack Meridian Health Village at Jackson
Hackensack University Medical Center
JFK Medical Center
Jersey Shore University Medical Center
Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital
Mountainside Medical Center
Palisades Medical Center
Pascack Medical Center
Ocean Medical Center
Riverview Medical Center
Southern Ocean Medical Center