Mended Hearts Open Forum

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  • 1.  VISITS

    Posted 09-13-2018 17:00
    Hi Everyone, 
    Our satellite in Lancaster Pa has been visiting OHS and TAVR patients since last November.  We're ready to branch out into another area for visits, possibly the Rehab Center.  I have 2 questions: 
    1. For those of you who visit rehab patients,  how do you perform your visits? It seems awkward to visit while they are on the treadmill, bicycle, etc. 
    2. What other areas do you visit? In the cath lab, or on the stent floor, the patient is only there for a short time and is bombarded with the procedure, short recovery, go-home instructions, etc. 

    We feel like we're making a difference here so we want to be careful how we proceed so we can continue to be effective in the lives of our fellow heart-patients and their families.
    Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

  • 2.  RE: VISITS

    Posted 09-14-2018 20:31
    from Chapter 382 Bellingham Washington

    This chapter was formed just under six years ago and has been active with St. Joseph's Medical Center in Bellingham ever since. Our visiting with individual patients is concentrated on the cardiac ward, with some in the ICU.

    I was "recruited" to Mended Hearts almost five years ago via a MH visitor to the Cardiac Rehab Center where I was working through supervised rehab. At present I am one of the presenters at 9-week intervals at the Rehab center (which I attend fairly regularly in unsupervised sessions).

    We don't present to individuals but are allowed to speak to a seated group at the end of a short talk by one of the Rehab therapists. Our presentations are sandwiched in between supervised Rehab sessions so they get a bit rushed sometimes with people coming and going. We have a comfortable seating area in the corridor outside Rehab and one can always invite anyone interested to stop there on the way out to talk further.

    The biggest difference that I notice between presenting at Rehab and on the cardiac ward is that the patients in Rehab are much stronger and more alert. And you can always remind them that they probably have had a visit already . . .

    I can't answer for cath lab or stent patients, or specifically TAVR patients. We do encounter OHS patients.

    I'd say start with the Cardiac Rehab manager and then work your way around the chain to the other units who are funneling patients into your rehab center. If you need to go higher up the administrative chain, do so.

    Oliver Wilgress
    MH Chapter 382
    Bellingham, Washington

  • 3.  RE: VISITS

    Posted 09-14-2018 21:49
    This is in response to Rod Martin’s inquiry about visiting cardiac rehab patients.
    For years at our hospital we (Mended Hearts visitors) would ask the cardiac rehab director for a few minutes of their class time to tell the class about us. We got about 10 minutes in the beginning of class time about twice a year. One day I asked the class scheduler if I (MH) could have an entire class time and be part of their regular class schedule. They were delighted to work us in. I now make a half hour presentation about MH on every month possessing a fifth Wednesday. It’s about 5 times a year which works well with patients in a 12 week rehab program. I show a 20 min PowerPoint about national and our local chapter. Then I field questions and comments. It’s quite fun. All we had to do was ask.
    Diane Caputo
    Chapter 130
    Olympia WA
    Sent from my iPhone

  • 4.  RE: VISITS

    Posted 09-16-2018 08:03
    Diane - would you be willing to share your powerpoint? Please let me know -

    Karin Bertozzi
    Bethesda MD
    (301) 229-2383

  • 5.  RE: VISITS

    Posted 09-18-2018 01:08
    I am happy to share the PowerPoint with anyone interested in taking a looksie.
    Of course you need to open it up on a computer with the PowerPoint program. Any computer with Microsoft Office should have it.
    My PowerPoint is tailored to our local chapter but it can give other chapters ideas for their own.
    Just send me an email request and I’ll send you my file.
    Diane Caputo

    Sent from my iPhone

  • 6.  RE: VISITS

    Posted 02-22-2020 11:53
    Please I'd like to ask you for a favor.

    Sent from my iPhone

  • 7.  RE: VISITS

    Posted 02-23-2020 13:32
    I suggest you visit with the family members who are in the waiting room. The caregivers have often been more receptive to support than the patient themselves. I have visited many family members stuck in the waiting room with all the fear and nerves as the patients. Getting them involved in the Mended Hearts group will often make it easier to get the patient involved.
    The same goes for rehab visits. Often the family member is just stuck outside with a book. I found that getting on a bike next to another patient a good time to talk. We aren't going anywhere for at least 5 to 10 minutes. ☺
    Hope this helps
    Richard Short
    Chapter 395

  • 8.  RE: VISITS

    Posted 02-23-2020 14:05
    Unfortunately our chapter dissolved after 25 years due to lack of support. People too busy.
    Anyway I use to visit the cardiac rehab. The personnel had me give talks prior to the start of the patient exercise program. Question period after. I usually related to my experience and information from Mended Hearts.
    I volunteer now at the Cardiac Unit. By doing so I can talk with the patients.
    Terry Martin 
    Bloomington, IL