A Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Specialist provides guidance and direct care to families and patients with either cardiovascular diseases or who have a high risk of developing some kind of heart disease in the future. A Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Specialist gathers all of the information needed to design an individualized treatment plan for the patient after getting age-specific information.
This assessment will normally include such things as psychological, functional, social and cognitive status of the patient. The specialist assesses a patient’s response to exercise, instructs patients on how to use exercise equipment the right way and performs cardiac monitoring of patients. A Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Specialist will also provide ideas for lifestyle modification in group settings and for the individual.
A Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Specialist will work hard to educate families and patients by providing them with information on cardiovascular diseases. A coordinator will assign specific duties to the CRS, depending on their experience and education level.
- Assists with community and individual wellness programs
- Provides inpatient and outpatient cardiac rehab programs
- Obtains any required physician signed referrals and intakes any cardiac rehab referrals
- Gathers data relevant to the individual needs of every patient by performing an age-specific assessment
- Designs a comprehensive plan of cardiac rehabilitation that includes specific time frames
- Interprets heart/EKG rhytms and applies telemetry monitors in the phase 2 of cardiac rehab
- Develops abilities to handle any medical emergency and assesses any physiological response to exercise
- Gives patients information on the proper use of exercise equipment and makes any individual adjustment over time
- Identifies any teaching needs in patients by means of written and oral communication
- Has reliable information on pulmonary and cardiac medications’ administration, use, drug interactions and side-effects for patient safety
- Has reliable information on how to deal with cardiac stress testing and any related testing procedure
Future Job Growth
The Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Specialist career future growth outlook looks really good, as it is projected to grow around 28% per year through at least 2020. This is a lot faster growth rate than most other occupations. The demand for these specialists will grow with an aging population and people with rehabilitation needs such as people with disabilities and veterans.
The minimum education requirement for this specialty is a bachelor’s degree in exercise science, biology, a nursing degree or a similar undergraduate degree. However, many employees tend to prefer candidates who have a graduate degree. There are more than 120,000 jobs related to Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation in the US and the level of employment change is expected to be around 23,000 jobs per year from 2012 to 2022.