Our Three-Phase Approach
Our cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation programs use a comprehensive approach to helping you return to activities you love and experience better health.
At Bristol Health, we have designed each component of our rehabilitation programs to help you achieve a better quality of life, reduce risk factors and improve symptom control. Each program is divided into three phases that will help you safely improve your heart and lung function.
Phase I begins on the day you are admitted to the hospital for a heart or lung event. It includes a low-level activity and exercise program as well as individual education from your rehabilitation team. While in the hospital, you may see members of your team such as a cardiologist, pulmonologist, physical therapist or respiratory therapist, depending on which program is right for you.
You’ll remain in Phase I of treatment until you leave the hospital. After you return home, a member of your rehabilitation team will contact you to schedule future appointments and help you understand what to expect during the next steps of your care.
Many pulmonary rehabilitation patients can benefit from therapy even if they have not been hospitalized. If you wish to participate in pulmonary rehabilitation, you don’t need to spend time in the hospital, but will need a referral from your physician to begin Phase II.
Phase II of care begins when you return home. Your physician will send a referral to our office, and we will work with your insurance company to have your therapy approved. We accept almost all insurance plans, and most insurance plans will cover rehabilitation.
Once these steps are complete, you will come to our office for an orientation session that will help you understand the goals and processes of rehabilitation. Orientation usually occurs within two to four weeks after you go home.
During Phase II, you receive all of your care in an outpatient setting, meaning you’ll go home after your appointments. During each group appointment, you’ll participate in supervised exercise that is designed for your fitness level. You’ll work out on equipment such as treadmills or exercise bikes. If you are in cardiac rehabilitation, you’ll wear telemetry devices. These devices monitor your heart rate, blood pressure and other vital signs to help us understand how well your heart works during exercise.
During Phase II, you’ll also receive group and individual education about your health condition, nutrition, physical activity and other important health topics. You’ll have the opportunity to meet with a dietitian for more individualized diet suggestions.
If you are in pulmonary rehabilitation, you’ll also learn about:
- Basic lung function
- Understanding lung disease and medications
- Breathing retraining and pursed lip breathing
- The physical aspects of coping with shortness of breath
- Medication delivery systems and equipment considerations
- Stress management
For Phase II of cardiac rehabilitation, you’ll attend appointments two to three times per week for 36 sessions.
For Phase II of pulmonary rehabilitation, you’ll attend appointments twice per week for 24 sessions. Once you complete Phase II, we encourage you to continue to participate in exercise on your own at home or in a local gym or through continued work at our facility. By participating in physical activity, you can maintain the benefits of your rehabilitation program.
Phase III is an optional maintenance program for patients who would like to continue exercising at our facility after Phase II is complete. This program is not covered by insurance, but you can pay monthly for the program for as long as you would like, similar to a gym membership.
During this phase, you’ll continue to receive supervision, but won’t receive any telemetry monitoring. You’ll be responsible for monitoring your own health and keeping your own records during Phase III. We welcome the opportunity to continue working with you and seeing how your health progresses.