Chester River Hospital Center
Cardiopulmonary Services

There is a very high incidence of heart disease on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and as a result Chester River Hospital Center has undertaken several initiatives to expand cardiology services.

Cardiac Rehabilitation

Cardiac rehabilitation is a comprehensive program which enables patients to return to a normal, active lifestyle after experiencing a heart attack, bypass surgery, or some other cardiac disease.  The program involves conditioning exercises that are performed under the close supervision of a qualified, trained medical staff as well as education about how to live with and manage heart disease. bike.jpg (19463 bytes)

When Does Cardiac Rehabilitation Begin?

3copy.jpg (14260 bytes) The initial phase of the program begins during the patient’s hospitalization after the heart attack first occurs or bypass surgery or angioplasty is performed. This phase emphasizes education about heart disease and the steps needed for recovery. The nurses and doctors will explain why a heart attack occurred or what the surgical procedure corrected and they will help identify each person’s cardiovascular risk factors for heart disease.

This knowledge will help answer the question, "Why did this happen to me?" The exercise component of recovery begins in this phase with walking in the hospital’s hallways; instructions are given for an at-home exercise program.

The cost of this phase is part of the hospitalization cost.

What Happens After Discharge from the Hospital?

Phase II begins approximately one month after bypass surgery or two weeks after a heart attack has occurred. Following angioplasty, rehab may begin as soon as the catherteization site has healed.

This is an outpatient program lasting from two to three months. During the exercise sessions, the participant wears a heart monitor as a nurse works closely with him or her to develop a personalized exercise program.

The educational component of phase II focuses on learning how to follow a low-fat diet on a daily basis and on special occasions, learning about medications, blood pressure control, stress management and other related topics. Group or individual classes are held to address these topics. Family members are encouraged to attend the classes with the participant.

The cost of Phase II is usually covered by medical insurance; the rehab staff will discuss this in detail with participants.

When Do Participants Begin to Work Independently?

Once the goals of Phase II have been met and participants are exercising safely, they graduate into Phase III where they will exercise independently but with a nurse present. Participants learn to take their pulse and keep their own exercise records. Those who complete this phase have mastered the routine of the exercise sessions, but continue to need occasional monitoring and support from the staff.

Participants and their families are encouraged to attend all educational programs offered by cardiac rehab.

Insurance does not cover the cost of Phase III. Charges are $25 per month for three exercise sessions per week or $17 per month for two sessions per week. This phase may last up to six months.

When are Participants Free to Work on Their Own?

Community Cardiac Rehab is the newest phase and has been added to offer participants an opportunity to continue exercising in a supportive atmosphere with other cardiac rehab members who have completed phase III.

It is offered in cooperation with Kent Athletic and Wellness Center at the facility on High Street in Chestertown. The program is scheduled for 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Participants may exercise on their own at other times the Center is open, but are strongly encouraged to work with the group for support and to help the Center’s staff identify members of the program.

Participants will have access to a wider variety of equipment, a larger exercise area, more flexibility in exercise time and greater independence. The Athletic Center’s staff will work with all Phase IV participants to continue their exercise routines and the nurses from the Hospital will continue to work with the staff of the Athletic Center on any concerns affecting Phase IV participants.

The cost of this new phase will be $25 a month, billed quarterly. The Center will waive its usual enrollment fee. There is no limit on how long a participant may remain in this part of the program.

Referral and Admission

A physician's referral is needed to enroll in the cardiac rehabilitation program.  For more information call Sherrie Hill, RN, MSN, Cardiac Rehabilitation Coordinator, at (410) 778-3300 ext. 2222.

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