cardiac rehab nursing - page 2

by peahen10 16,195 Views | 18 Comments

I work in cardiac rehab with three exercise physiologists. Does anyone have a clearly defined job role for the RN vs the EP? It seems to be a free for all. I would appreciate any advice that is out there. Thanks... Read More


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    I love this place! I just recently saw information on Cardiac Rehab Nursing and found this form. My passion is fitness and I'm looking for a career change. I am considering nursing and taking prerequisitsts. I plan on finally getting my Personal Training certificate through ACE this summer and start Nursing school next year. Sounds like this is a new, exciting area that would be perfect!
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    Quote from laurag_dc
    I love this place! I just recently saw information on Cardiac Rehab Nursing and found this form. My passion is fitness and I'm looking for a career change. I am considering nursing and taking prerequisitsts. I plan on finally getting my Personal Training certificate through ACE this summer and start Nursing school next year. Sounds like this is a new, exciting area that would be perfect!
    Laura.....that is a great idea what you came up with! I'm also thinking about getting certified through ACE as a PT too! Good look! And Nursing would be a great field to enter!~Leslie~
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    You gals are so encouraging!
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    Quote from lahainke
    Wow! I'm so glad I've found this discussion board! I have a BS in EP, and want to get into cardio rehab, most want a EP with a MS, but in this small rural area I live in, they don't have EPs. So, I was trying to decide how to get into cardio Rehab...and decided to be an RN, and I get find jobs. THANK YOU ALL for your input! You have helped me a lot too!
    I know this is an older post but your career path is exactly the same as the one I chose. I had a BS in Exercise Science and worked for a few years as an Exercise Specialist in cardiac and pulmonary rehab. Almost all of my classes transferred as pre-reqs so I was accepted readily into a BSN program after I took microbiology. I would highly encourage any of you who already have a BS degree to find a BSN program...you will have more options in the future such as getting an NP degree if you choose or working as a cardiac rehab program manager.

    Having an ES degree combined with an RN degree is DEFINITELY an advantage in cardiac rehab for sure. Exercise physiologists are great, but they don't always have that combined clinical knowledge that you will have as an RN and that "sixth" sense that comes in so handy when dealing with these patients.

    Be aware that it is a really good idea to work at least 1-2 years in CCU or a cardiac stepdown or telemetry unit. When you work in cardiac rehab you will have patients who have been discharged and are supposedly "better" but oh my word let me tell you...you will see more dysrhythmias, angina, ischemic changes, hypotension and CHF than you did when IN the hospital! And you will not have an IV line and all the necessities right there. You need to be very confident of how to proceed in cases like that. My first day on the job in cardiac rehab we had a full blown code right there. Since I was fresh from CCU it was like another day at work!

    Let me know if you guys have other questions.
    MMARN likes this.
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    Thank you for all the insight people! I am finishing my degree in exercise science this fall, originally planning on entering PT school but I have decided against getting my doctorate in that field and wanted to find something else to do in the healthcare field that would relate to my exercise science degree. This seems like a great fit...and i never heard of it before seeing this thread! Thanks!
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    I will say what others have said in past posts...so glad I found this! I have a BS in Exercise Science and originally was going to get into PT, but after an internship I realized it wasn't for me. I also did 90 hours of observations in cardiac rehab as an undergrad and I loved it. After searching for requirements to get into cardiac rehab I realized hospitals want RNs. So currently I am in the process of taking the two pre-requisites I need (A family and consumer sciences class as well as microbiology) and getting myself ready to apply to an accelerated 2nd bachelors degree in nursing. I think my exercise science background in combination with nursing will work great! I didn't know if this was something others had done or wanted to do until I googled "cardiac rehab nursing" just now and found this forum. Pretty pumped to hear others have gone this route and succeeded. I am pretty confident I will be happy in this field. I do like the suggestion of working in CCU first, however. I have a friend who has been in CCU and it has been really challenging but it seems like something that would really prepare you for the rehab. Great advice everyone!
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    Quote from lee1
    I am a RN, we all share job responsiblities BUT since we are NOT trained in resistance exercise, we leave that to our EP. Our EP does NOT have the type of clinical experience we have with heart patients (we have all come from critical care backgrounds), so for the most part we do the initial clinical evaluations. We do communicate easily with one another so sharing of job roles is easy.
    hi der.. i am also at cardiac rehab RN and we're starting to expand and improve our area. I wanted to ask of your roles and responsbilities in cardiac rehab that i know might be a big help for us. We're still workin with our area, and your replies wud help me!.. thank you!
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    I currently work in Cardiac Rehab and work with two Exercise Specialists. There is a ton of animosity regarding roles... they were never defined and I am the new full time nurse. They hadn't had a full time nurse in over a year and were just left to fend on their own. We are AACVPR certified but...
    Does anyone else work in an environment like this? We are in NH, where I believe Medicare requires the nurse to sign session reports and progress reports for phase 2 clients. One ES told me today that I am only there for the code cart! UGHHHH
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    Hi DJGifford,
    That is really unfortunate that one of the exercise science workers told you this. I have a MS in EP and am finishing up a nursing degree. Please don't let this cause you to think poorly of all EP's. In my experience it goes both ways...some nurses tend to think that exercise is something very easy to understand (I had a professor in nursing tell me that studying exercise physiology was a waste of time) and some EP's have little respect for nurse's (which is unfortunate also!) I've learned much studying nursing and I know there will be much more to learn while working as a nurse, however, EP's (not sure if ES is as specialized) study specifically how different stress affects the body of both healthy and the clinical populations. Both fields are so important to health care for both prevention and rehab. It's important though that EP's are honest with their scope but respectful to learning from others just like it is for nurses as well. Sorry for the unprofessionalism this worker expressed!


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