Cardiopulmonary Services

Having a heart attack or heart surgery can be a lonely, frightening experience.  Fortunately, most people recover and are able to return to their normal work and leisure activities.  Recovery does not happen by itself.  At Douglas County Hospital, we have developed a team of cardiac rehabilitation professionals to assist you with your recovery.

The most important member of our team is you.  Other members include your physician, a specially trained nurse, physical therapist, dietician, pharmacies and a respiratory care practitioner. 

Our goals are to assist you in improving your heart and lung function with monitored graded exercise, helping you become aware of and modify factors that put you at a higher risk for developing further heart problems and also provide support to you and your family during this crisis.

Our program is a two-phase program.

Phase I is the inpatient program, beginning in the hospital with low-level activity and 1:1 education.

Phase II is the outpatient program beginning after discharge from the hospital with close observation, telemetry monitoring while exercising, group education, and follow up reports to your physician.  On discharge, you are encouraged to continue with your home exercise program or enroll in one of many community exercise programs.

Cardiac Support Group
Cardiac Support Group is available to the cardiac patients, families, and anyone interested in their heart health.  The goal of the support group is to continue the education process and offer ongoing support.  We meet quarterly in the Education Room (lower level) at the hospital.

For more information on cardiac rehab, contact:
Jennifer Rentz, RN, Cardiac Rehab Coordinator
jrentz@dchospital.com
320-762-6005

Echocardiographs
Echocardiograph is a diagnostic tool used by physicians to evaluate a patient's heart function using a sophisticated ultrasound machine.

EKG (Electrocardiogram)
Electrocardiogram - whether done in ER on a patient with chest pain, or done as a pre-op evaluation, EKG's are a diagnostic tool to evaluate a patient's heart by measuring its electrical output.  Over 3,000 EKG's are performed at Douglas County Hospital every year.

Cardiac Stress Testing
Stress testing is done to help determine how well a person's heart can respond to exercise.  By exercising, the heart beats faster and requires more oxygen.  If there are blockages in the coronary arteries, changes on the EKG can occur, showing the physician that further heart testing may be needed. 

During a stress test patients are hooked up to an EKG monitor and exercise is started at a low level and gradually increased as tolerated.  If a patient is unable to walk on a treadmill, a drug may be given to cause the heart to beat faster and stage simulating exercise.  A regular stress test generally takes 60-90 minutes to complete.

Nuclear Medicine Stress Test 
Cardiolite stress testing is a stress test where nuclear medicine imaging is added to allow special pictures of the heart to be taken. 

Pulmonary Rehabilitation
Pulmonary Rehabilitation is a comprehensive program consisting of exercise and education.  It is designed to help patients with lung disorders increase their exercise levels as well as learn how to manage their disease.

Respiratory Care
Respiratory Care staff provides safe and efficient care for patients who are in need.  With over 110 years of combined experience, our Nationally Credentialed staff work in all areas of the hospital providing competent and compassionate care.

Pulmonary Function Testing
Pulmonary function testing is a way of measuring and evaluating a patient's lung volumes.  The test is a valuable tool in helping physician's diagnose lung disorders such as asthma or COPD.