3 Cardiac Rehab Myths That Scare Patients

Posted by Heart Hugger on Jul 11, 2017 3:11:00 PM

cardiac rehab myth crossed out on chalkboard

When it comes to cardiac rehab, it's important for patients to have all the facts--not just because this is a crucial part of the healing process after cardiac surgery, but because patients who have heard certain myths will be more likely to skip rehab. Here are three popular myths and the truth behind them.

Dispelling the Myths

Our experts understand that the healing process after heart surgery can be long and not always easy. However, when hear-say is keeping patients from taking part in the counseling, exercises, and education of rehab, then they miss out on all the benefits--and the journey to healing suddenly gets a lot harder. Here's a look at the biggest obstacles patients see:

1. It might not be safe

A lot of patients worry about whether or not their bodies can handle cardiac rehab. This is a big concern, but the truth is that, in order to be deemed eligible, a patient has to pass various comprehensive tests that ensure safety and physical readiness. It's often helpful to have healthcare providers discuss this with patients if this is a concern.

2. It's too expensive

Another obstacle standing in the way of cardiac rehab is often the cost. Patients think they won't be able to afford it--but most insurance companies actually cover most of the cost for up to 36 sessions, plus there are payment plans available. Patients can rest assured that cost should never stand in the way of healing, even if some creative solutions need to be made (like participating in only a few sessions here and there).

3. I don't need it

Sometimes, patients think that they know everything there is to know about taking care of their bodies. In reality, there's always something new to learn about health, exercise, and nutrition, especially after cardiac surgery--which means that cardiac rehab is crucial.

Facing the Myths

Here are a few of the most common problems patients have with cardiac rehab, according to our cardiac rehab experts.

  • Safety. Some patients hesitate to take part in cardiac rehab because they don't believe their bodies are ready--and considering all they've been through and felt, this is a fair concern. Patients can generally be comforted by the facts; after all, cardiac rehab is adapted to fit personal needs and abilities, and it wouldn't be prescribed if it was too dangerous.
  • Time. Scheduling in cardiac rehab is a daunting task for a lot of patients. However, since rehab can adapt to fit the unique schedules of patients as they work through their healing journeys, you can convince them that it's easy to fit this in--and, even more important, it's crucial, so other things might have to come second.
  • Learning. One of the biggest myths about cardiac rehab is that it teaches what you already know. Patients think they have it all figured out--and that's not to say that they know nothing about their health, but the truth is that we can all learn a little more when it comes to taking care of our bodies.

Help Patients With Knowledge

Health-related myths travel in a lot of ways, and this is one situation where the Internet certainly isn't on your side. Whether patients read something online, heard a "horror story" from a friend, or had this myth passed down to them through generations, the power of a few misconstrued facts can be alarming. Even if the myth pushes the boundaries of logic or seems easy to solve, it often feels safer to a patient not to take the risk. That's where you come in. You have to convince patients of two things: first, that these myths aren't that big of a deal; and second, that believing these myths is actually dangerous because it keeps cardiac rehab from doing its job in the healing process.

Contact us today for more tips on preparing your patient for cardiac rehab!

Heart Hugger

Written by Heart Hugger

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