Inpatient program

Inpatient cardiovascular rehabilitation is a comprehensive treatment program that provides hospitalized patients at the Heart Institute with specialized care. Several 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.

Learn about each of the services available as part of the Heart Institute’s programming for inpatients.


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.

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

Social workers assist you with planning and making choices while in the hospital and as you get ready to return home. They help with discharge planning and support and can also provide you with community resource information, such as information about housing, financial assistance, or other support services.


Health problems can upset people’s lives and cause stress and worry. Psychologists are mental health professionals that assess the emotional health of patients and provide short-term treatment to help them cope during their hospitalization.

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 counselling to patients with nutrition-related issues. A heart failure discharge class is offered to patients on a weekly basis. See the calendar for information about heart-healthy workshops available to 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, we offer patients who smoke 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. We provide telephone follow-ups, which are known to increase your cessation success, for up to six months after discharge. We also provide links to other smoking cessation resources.