Exercise, Education and Encouragement for Recovery

The cardiac rehabilitation unit at Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center is a unique, medically-supervised program that helps patients who have experienced recent cardiac issues, such as heart surgery or heart attack.

The program uses a mix of education and personalized exercise plans to strengthen the heart muscle and encourage patients adopt healthier lifestyle changes. Individualized plans are designed to help patients achieve the highest level of functioning possible. Based on the principles of "exercise, education and encouragement," cardiac rehab can help patients:

  • Recover after a heart attack, heart surgery or angioplasty
  • Help prevent future heart problems
  • Help patients address risk factors that can lead to coronary heart disease
  • Develop a healthy lifestyle and follow a heart-healthy diet

Outpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation Services Following Discharge

The cardiac rehabilitation team includes a supervising physician, rehabilitation nurse, physical therapy, physical therapy assistant, social worker and dietitian. The initial phase of cardiac rehabilitation begins while a patient is still in the hospital. Phases II and III begin after a patient is discharged and are designed to:

  • Increase tolerance for exercise
  • Reduce symptoms of angina, dyspnea and fatigue
  • Improve blood lipid and blood sugar levels
  • Lose weight, quit smoking and reduce stress
  • Improve their psychosocial well-being and reduce cardiac mortality

Phase II of the cardiac rehabilitation program requires a physician referral. Each patient's progress is evaluated every 30 days and is approved for patients who have had:

  • Heart attack within the past six months
  • Coronary artery bypass grafting and/or valve replacement with the past six months
  • Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) or stent
  • Heart transplant
  • Stable angina (stress test required)
  • Congestive heart failure with an ejection fraction (EF) less than 35%

Patients are safely led through an exercise program that is based on their abilities and physiology. Education and classes are available to help patients reduce their risk for heart disease through nutrition, stress reduction, medication management, smoking cessation, diabetes management, safe and effective exercise at home and weight reduction.

During Phase III, the patient takes a more of an active role in tracking their activities. They are provided an exercise program, assistance with life-style changes, cardio and strength equipment, personalized services and educational lectures.

Getting Started

A physician must order cardiac rehab to assist with your recovery. Outpatient cardiac rehab is usually covered by most insurance plans, including Medicare. Coverage may vary depending upon your diagnosis and insurance provider, so be sure to check with them to verify your coverage. For questions, call the cardiac rehabilitation unit at 702-902-1700.

If you need a referral to a cardiologist or other physician at Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center, call our free Direct Doctors Plus® referral service at 1-702-388-4888.