For most patients, the days and weeks after a cardiac event are full of uncertainty. Laura Murphy, who helps oversee Story Medical’s Cardiac Rehab program, knows this is the case. She appreciates the role she plays in helpingthese patients get comfortable with life after their incident.
“I love working so closely with patients to figure out what they need to get them on the road to recovery and leading a healthier lifestyle,” she says. Story Medical shined a light on its heart services during Healthy Heart Month in February, and Cardiac Rehab Week February 10-16.
In addition to Laura, cardiac rehab patients are cared for by Story Medical’s exercise physiologists.
“Our team gets along really well, and our strengths complement one another,” Laura says. “That enables us to provide the best care to our patients.”
Laura works with most patients for about three months, monitoring their heart rate and rhythm as they perform exercises like walking on a treadmill or an elliptical machine. A Respiratory Therapist, Laura has worked at Story Medical for two years, spending the last year on the Cardiac Rehab team. She says it is an important service for patients on the mend.
“Cardiac Rehab has many benefits for the patient,” Laura says. “Regular, monitored activity can help decrease chances of another heart attack, control symptoms like shortness of breath and chest pain, stop or reverse damage to blood vessels, and help patients build up the emotional confidence that allows them to return to work, hobbies and normal activity.”
That last one, helping them build confidence, is big.
“The biggest challenge is turning patients into believers,” Laura says. “Helping patients to change their habits can be difficult. Our goal is to educate and provide physical activities that the patient can take home to build healthy habits.”