Inpatient Program

Inpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation is a comprehensive treatment program that provides hospitalized patients at the Heart Institute with specialized care. A number of health care professionals are involved with this care including registered dietitians, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, psychologists, social workers, speech language pathologists and cardiac rehabilitation nurses. The program is an important link in the rehabilitation continuum, offering home exercise programs and facilitating referrals to the Outpatient Program.

Services provided through the Inpatient Program include:


Physiotherapists teach patients the proper and safe way to move. They assist you in regaining mobility after your illness. This may include exercise or training to recover the ability to walk, to move in and out of bed, to get in and out of a chair, or to climb stairs. Also, physiotherapists teach ways to improve breathing and to reduce pain or unsteadiness. They will make recommendations regarding equipment to assist you with your mobility.

Male participant on the exercise bike at the Heart Institutes rehab track

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists evaluate a patient’s physical and mental abilities following a cardiac event. They are skilled in helping you regain your ability to do all the things needed to take care of yourself in the community. This includes such tasks as bathing, dressing, meal preparation and basic housekeeping activities. As well, occupational therapists conduct screening for cognitive function.

Social Work

Health problems can upset people’s lives and cause worry, fear, and stress. Social workers assist you with planning and making choices while in the hospital and as you get ready to return home, including help with discharge planning, counselling and support, and community resource information.

Speech-Language Pathology

Speech-language pathologists are professionals in the field of communication and swallowing disorders. Speech-language pathologists see patients who have communication problems resulting from stroke or other neurological impairment, have swallowing disorders, or require tracheostomy care related to swallowing and voice/communication issues.


Nutrition is a major lifestyle factor in heart health and is important in the management of heart conditions. The registered dietitian provides assessment, treatment and counseling to patients with nutrition-related issues. A Heart Failure discharge class is offered to patients on a weekly basis. See the Calendar for information on the Heart Healthy Workshops for patients and family.

Smoking Cessation

Support for smoking cessation is part of routine clinical care at the Heart Institute. In a non-judgmental and supportive environment, at every visit, every patient is asked about their smoking status and their readiness to quit smoking. To ensure safety and comfort, patients who smoke are offered pharmacotherapy and strategic advice to help manage withdrawal symptoms while they are in hospital. Nurse specialists will work with you to develop a personalized quit plan to make this quit attempt successful when going home. Telephone follow-up, which is known to increase your success with quitting smoking, is provided for up to six months after discharge. Links to other smoking cessation resources are also provided.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Nurses

Cardiac rehabilitation nurses assess patients for the Cardiac Rehabilitation program. They educate you about the need to self-manage risk factors such as high blood pressure, physical activity, nutrition and stress management. They provide detailed information about the Heart Institute’s Outpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation program and other regional programs, such as Heart Wise Exercise.

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