The Grey Nuns' 10-bed Coronary Care Unit (CCU) closely monitors and cares for patients with a diagnosis of myocardial infarction, unstable angina, and congestive heart failure. It operates under the clinical leadership of a cardiologist. A multidisciplinary team of nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists, respiratory therapists, dietitians, social workers, and pastoral care workers provide comprehensive patient care.
In the Grey Nuns' Hospital, Cardiac Rehabilitation is both an inpatient and outpatient program. During the inpatient stay, a registered nurse educates patients and families on modifying their lifestyles to reduce the risk of further cardiac events and improve their quality of life. The nurse teaches inpatients admitted to the CCU and promotes cardiac health and disease prevention.
The Grey Nuns' General Cardiology Clinic provides consulting services for patients referred for cardiac assessment and management. Patients are screened and monitored for cardiovascular risk factors. The clinic also focuses on patient education and treatment of cardiac disease.
The Cardioversion Clinic coordinates all activities associated with elective outpatient cardioversions. A multi-disciplinary team of nurses, respiratory therapists, anesthetists and CCU physicians work together to provide the continuum of care necessary before, during and after cardioversions.
In the Grey Nuns' Lipid Clinic, physician specialists and other health care providers assess and treats patients with high lipid levels (cholesterol, triglycerides). A lipid education class is available for patients and their families.
The Grey Nuns Hospital boasts the only in-hospital Cardiac Rehabilitation Outpatient Exercise Program. Patients who qualify for the exercise program return to the hospital three days per week and are monitored while they exercise. The patients also receive further education on risk factor modification from members of the multidisciplinary team. Patients and their family members also attend a "Heart-Saver" CPR course during their stay on the exercise program. During the last fiscal year, there were 5401 visits to the exercise program.
Diagnostic/Interventional Cardiac Service
Holter Monitoring is a diagnostic tool that allows a physician to collect a recording of a patient's heart rhythm over a 24-hour period while they follow their usual activity. The Holter Monitor's value rests in its ability to pick up intermittent rhythm problems randomly over a continuous period of time (usually 24 hours). The Electrocardiogram (ECG), in contrast, captures only a snapshot of the heart's electrical activity over a few seconds of time. In 2002-03, 565 Holter monitor readings were performed at the Grey Nuns.
Exercise Stress Testing, which takes place in the Cardiac Clinic, is often the first diagnostic test done to detect coronary artery disease. During exercise, the physician monitors the heart and the patient to determine ECG changes, intolerance to exercise and increased workload that may signal cardiac stress and coronary artery disease. In 2002-03, 1286 of these tests were done at the Grey Nuns.
The Grey Nuns' Pacemaker Clinic provides evaluation and followup of patients with implanted pacemakers. It also supports inpatients who've received pacemakers at another Capital Health site. This clinic has approximately 1569 visits per year. Recently, as part of the research program at the GNHS, Dr. Sajad Gulamhussein inserted one of Western Canada's first remotely monitored pacemakers, enabling his patient to be monitored at home rather than at the hospital.
The Grey Nuns Hospital also has a dedicated pacemaker implantation suite. Two Cardiologists perform the implants with the assistance of a multidisciplinary team.