Cardiac Rehabilitation: In-Patient (Phase I)

The first phase of the cardiac rehabilitation begins based on a written doctor's referral. During the first phase, patients with coronary artery disease, those who had a heart attack and are recovering form heart surgery and other cardiac diseases engage in monitored low level exercise and receive patient education.

Program Goals

  • Preventing weakness and complications caused by prolonged bed rest
  • Improve endurance and flexibility
  • Promote independence, self-esteem and responsible decision making for clients
  • Educate patients regarding exercise and symptom recognition regarding exercise intolerance
  • Introduce concepts of risk factor reduction, self-assessment and self care in heart health


Phase I exercise and educational sessions are supervised by a registered nurse with expertise in Cardiac Rehab.

Patient Evaluation

Each patient will receive a comprehensive assessment prior to beginning exercise and education. If there are no contraindications for exercise, activity will be advanced according to each patient's tolerance and response.

Phase 1 Exercise

Patients referred to the service will be assessed twice daily for exercise and educational needs. Exercise goals will be established and communicated to the patient, family and nurse each day. Based upon the patient's condition and response, progressive exercise sessions will proceed during the patient's length of stay. All patients on Phase I Cardiac Rehab service will receive heart monitoring, oxygen saturation monitoring as indicated and blood pressure evaluation prior to each session and during each session. This information is communicated with other care providers in the patient's medical record.

Phase 1 Education

Based upon the level of readiness to learn and each patient's expressed interests, patients in the Phase I Cardiac Rehab program are given education regarding their specific heart problem, activity/exercise, nutrition, medication, risk factor and lifestyle changes, emergency planning and community resources available for assistance in rehabilitation. Educational videos are offered via the "on demand" hospital video system.

Outpatient Cardiac Rehab Referral

Those patients who could benefit from a Phase II outpatient Cardiac Rehab service are given information regarding the program.

For patients interested in Nebraska Medicine Cardiac Rehab Program, a physician referral is obtained and the cardiac rehabilitation enrollment process in initiated.

The Medical Record Department will forward the patient's medical records to the appropriate Outpatient Cardiac Rehab Program. The outlying cardiac rehab program will also receive notification and a summary of pertinent information regarding the patient's hospitalization.