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Heart Care Specialists

One of the most important strengths of the Rush-Copley Heart & Vascular Institute is the team of professionals available to serve you, the patient. A variety of specially trained doctors, nurses, technologists, and other professionals collaborate to provide the highest level of expert cardiovascular care. These experts include:

Cardiac Electrophysiologists - specialist in abnormal heart rhythms, puts in pacemakers and defibrillators, and performs special procedures on heart arrhythmias.

Cardiologists - specialist in the medical aspects of cardiovascular disease such as coronary artery disease, heart attack, valve disorders, congestive heart failure, and arrhythmias.

Cardiothoracic Surgeons - specialist who performs complex procedures such as coronary bypass, valve, aortic, and lung surgery.

Echocardiographers - specialist in advanced ultrasound techniques who performs transesophageal echocardiography.

Interventional Cardiologists - specialist in opening arteries using procedures such as angioplasty or stent placement in your heart and blood vessels in other peripheral areas of the body.

Vascular Surgeons - specialist in blood vessel diseases and performs surgeries such as bypass, carotid, aortic surgery, aneurysm repair, etc.

Nuclear Medicine Specialists - A cardiologist or radiologist who performs or interprets heart studies such as the thallium stress test.

Nurses - If you are hospitalized, you are attended by a Registered Nurse (RN) on a daily basis who will be responsible for your day to day care such as evaluating your condition, giving you medicine, educating you about your condition, and assisting you in your recovery. A Case Manager, also a Registered Nurse, will assist in facilitating your home care and/or discharge needs. During a special procedure or test, you may encounter a Registered Nurse assisting you and your doctor. Clinical Nurse Specialists may visit you in the hospital or in your doctor's office to help you prepare for a procedure or surgery, check on your progress and/or discharge needs. These nurses have had special training or experience in cardiology and cardiovascular surgery.

Nurse Practitioner - You may be seen by a Nurse Practitioner, a nurse whose education is beyond the bachelor's degree level and who has specialized in a specific area of cardiovascular medicine. Nurse Practitioners often see patients in the office independently from a physician.

Nutritionists - Nutritionists or registered dietitians can assist you in understanding which foods are helpful and which are potentially harmful. They are experts in diet prescriptions, especially if you have heart failure, hypertension, diabetes or high cholesterol. They often visit you in the hospital or they can be consulted if you are an outpatient.

Physician Assistants - Physician assistants are specially educated and trained, often in a particular area of cardiovascular medicine, like cardiac surgery, and may help you evaluate your progress while hospitalized or assist the surgeon in the operating room. They are also available to answer any questions you or your family has about your care.

Respiratory Therapists - The respiratory care team provides care for patients with heart and lung disorders. Respiratory care therapists are a vital part of the hospital's lifesaving response team that answers patient emergencies. In addition, respiratory therapists perform procedures that evaluate the capacity of a patient's lungs, employ mechanical ventilation for patients who cannot breathe adequately on their own, and monitor and manage therapy that will help a patient recover lung function.

Technologists - A number of the diagnostic or therapeutic procedures you might undergo require highly trained technicians or technologists. They assist the doctor and/or nurse in performing the technical aspects of the procedure.

Social Workers - Social workers are able to help you, in many ways, deal with the affects your illness or condition may have on your life. They can assist in finding extended care facilities, refer you to the right program for substance abuse, help you understand the role your emotions play in your recovery and, in some cases, find other mental health providers to be of further benefit.