The Cardiology team from Occupational Therapy supports three inpatient wards as well as outpatients. While the assessment process is common throughout Occupational Therapy, the needs of people who have cardiology problems commonly include activity tolerance (energy levels and energy management), anxiety and depression.
When in hospital your functional abilities and needs are assessed, including memory and mood. Advice is given on how to carry out daily activities in a way that conserves energy. You may also be encouraged to use Pacing to gradually build up your activity tolerance, and to understand how peaks and troughs in energy can be evened out. You may also be asked to go on a home visit so that equipment and support can be identified and discussed with you. There may also be a meeting with your family to discuss these issues if you are agreeable to this, and it is needed.
We often also refer to other agencies to provide you with support when you hospital; this is with your involvement and may include Red Cross Home From Hospital Team, Community Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy, Social Work.
The Cardiology Occupational Therapy Team works in three ways with outpatients
Post MI (Myocardial Infarction) clinics – People attend this clinic four weeks after their discharge. They are seen by a Cardiac Specialist nurse, cardiology Occupational Therapist, and Cardiology Physiotherapist.
The Cardiology Occupational Therapist reviews how you are returning/have returned to every day tasks such as driving, personal care and domestic tasks, diet, returning to work, relationships, mood, sleep patterns and relaxation. We can advise on dos and donts, and provide reassurance. We often encourage people to re-visit the Heart Manual for strategies talked about in the clinic.
Cardiac Rehabilitation – Two afternoons a week a team runs the Norwich Cardiac Rehab program at Norwich Community Hospital, again with the Cardiac Specialist Nurse, Cardiology Physiotherapist. Each Wednesday afternoon we provide education sessions on diet and healthy eating, risk factors, stress management and coping strategies alongside talks from other health professionals. Attendees then exercise on a graded programme which we assist in before holding a relaxation session at the end.
Heart Manual follow-up – for patients whom the Cardiac Specialist nurses have referred because they are worried that the patient has high levels anxiety or depression. The Occupational Therapist may visit patients in their own home and work through the Heart Manual with them if they need help with this.