You may be surprised to learn how many specialties come together to promote cardiovascular health.
February is American Heart Health Month, an annual observance created to raise awareness of heart disease and promote healthy practices for people of all ages. If you’re interested in learning about what goes into keeping our hearts healthy, our partners at Health Professions Week created a list to spotlight the many diverse professions contributing to this important field. The Heart Health Care Team is comprised of generalists and specialists, including professionals like Physicians, Pharmacists, Naturopathic Physicians, Audiologists and speech-language pathologists, Physician Assistants, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Nurses.
Let’s look at the role of a few of these important team members a little more closely.
The role of the physician (MD or DO) in the Heart Health or Cardiac Care Team is essential. From general practitioners, who provide routine preventative care, to cardiologists, who provide specialized medical care of patients with heart conditions, physicians are often considered the leaders of the patient’s overall care and treatment plans. Source: AACOM/AAMC
Audiologists and speech-language pathologists play a critical role in the care of individuals with chronic heart disease, as well as those undergoing cardiac surgical procedures. Individuals with heart disease are at higher risk for hearing, cognitive, and communication problems, as well as dysphagia (swallowing disorders). Audiologists can identify hearing problems that could impact comprehension and provide hearing technology to help individuals stay engaged with friends, family and the cardiac care team. Speech-language pathologists can identify areas of need and provide intervention to help individuals manage their daily tasks, understand and use language to communicate and safely drink and eat. Source: ASHA
In honor of American Heart Month, we’re excited to highlight the important role pharmacists play in cardiovascular health. Cardiology pharmacists are experts in medications that promote the heart health of patients who have or are at risk for cardiovascular disease. As such, they work as an integral part of a healthcare team and are involved in all aspects of cardiac care including strokes, high blood pressure (hypertension), irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias), heart transplants, artificial heart pumps, and anticoagulation (blood clot prevention). Source: AACP
Focused nutrition is the best place to start getting heart health under control. Naturopathic medical schools and clinics have long utilized patient education as a means of encouraging positive lifestyle changes to improve heart health. Similarly, accredited naturopathic medical schools and licensed naturopathic doctors also offer intensive seminars, newsletters and one-of-a-kind webinars that focus on heart health, nutrition trends and biomedical research. Numerous naturopathic research projects have focused on natural remedies for high blood pressure, heart health and prevention of disease. Source: AANMC
Other essential members of the heart health team include Physician Assistants, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Nurses. You can also learn more from the American Heart Association at their page, Your Heart Failure Healthcare Team.
More Information and tips about heart health, see the list of resources below:
- American Heart Challenge – Middle and High School
- Why your heart health matters
- High Blood Pressure – How Naturopathic Medicine Can Have the Answer
- Therapeutic Benefits of Laughter and Humor
- Heat, Hypothermia and Heart Health
- Understanding Heart Disease Risk: Advanced Cardiac Biomarkers in Naturopathic Practice
- Blood Pressure Help from the YMCA and the American Heart Association
- KCAA Radio Podcast: Relationship Between Depression and Heart Disease
- Women and Heart Disease
- Can a Broken Heart Really Kill You: Understanding the Link Between Depression and Heart Disease
- Heart Centered Education in Naturopathic Medicine Honouring the Vis With Dr Alexia Georgousis, ND