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Cardiac Rehabilitation/Secondary Prevention Nurse Specialist Band 6

Clinical Practice
Career Pathway

Career Directions

  • Clinical Practice

Area of Practice

  • Adult Nursing
  • Learning Disability Nursing


  • Hospital Care
  • Community/Primary Care

Job/Role Summary

To offer rehabilitation and secondary prevention advice and support to cardiac patients, and carers both during their stay and following discharge from hospital.

Fostering and promoting collaborative relationships with medical, and nursing administrative staff in primary and secondary care.

Cardiac rehabilitation describes the process which embraces different approaches to helping individuals with cardiovascular disease return to as normal a life as possible and reduce the risk of further cardiac events.

To work as an integral part of the cardiology directorate to ensure that all organisational and departmental objectives are achieved. To communicate and work with the primary health care team and other community services where necessary. Assist in setting up and running the nurse-led secondary prevention clinic. This involves the titration of drugs to attain treatment goals in secondary prevention.


Specific qualifications and experience required

Essential criteria-1ST level registered nurse (Adult) on part 1 of the NMC register. 5 years post registration experience, 2 of which should be at E grade. 3yrs experience in cardiology. Full valid driving licence with access to a car.

Desirable: Addition Qualification. Community Nursing Experience. Experience in Advanced Life Support & hold an ALS Certificate. Possess or working towards a Degree in Nursing/Healthcare/Specialist Practice Cardiology. Willingness to undertake and complete Nurse Prescribing Course.


Career Milestones

My past employment experience working in one of the regional hospitals has provided me with the opportunity to gain valuable experience in the whole area of cardiology. Whilst working here I was able to take part in an internal rotation programme within the directorate of cardiology. I worked predominately in the acute sector of the coronary care unit however I completed a three-month placement in the cardiac catheterisation suite where I was trained as a scrub nurse. I assisted in all procedures such as angiograms, Stenting, insertion of permanent pacemakers and implantable cardiac devices such as defibrillators and bi-ventricular pacemakers. During my Specialist Practice Degree programme I also had the opportunity to go on a one-week placement to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast. This allowed me to follow a patient from admission through to discharge after they had coronary artery bypass surgery. I found this very informative as you get to see first hand the full procedure.

My job as a secondary prevention nurse was my first time to work in primary care. I found this both challenging and rewarding. I worked mostly on my own running secondary prevention clinics however I constantly liaised with the general practitioners and other members of the multidisciplinary team.

My current position as community cardiac rehabilitation/secondary prevention nurse allows me to put into practice all my knowledge and skills gained.


What attracted you to this job?

  • Permanent Position
  • 30 hour post
  • Get to use my knowledge and skills gained in previous employment
  • Am able to work on my own and as part of a team
  • still have patient contact although I am not solely based in a hospital setting
  • Enjoy working in both primary and secondary care


Enjoyable aspects of the job/role

  • I get to organise my own schedule, time management is paramount and I enjoy the challenge.
  • I am able to follow patients through their journey from hospital admission to cardiac procedures and hopefully returning to their optimal level of physical and psychological health.
  • Evaluation of the service provided to monitor its effectiveness.


Challenging aspects of the job/role

Cardiac rehabilitation describes the process which embraces different approaches to helping individuals with cardiovascular disease return to as normal a life as possible & reduce the risk of further cardiac events. Barriers to this process are

  • patient perception & education
  • Risk factors that are modifiable & non-modifiable
  • Promotion and adherence to secondary prevention medication


Important success factors

  • One of the most important factors which has enabled me to carry out my job to the best of my ability is my line manager, the cardiac rehabilitation co-ordinator.
  • My ability to embrace change.
  • To be adaptable and resourceful.


Advice for those considering the type of job/role?

GO FOR IT! My job allows you to use a wide range of skills and two days are never the same. You can work on your own and as part of a team. You have the support of the cardiac rehabilitation co-ordinator and the cardiac consultant at all times. You have to work to agreed protocols at all times which can provide you with direction in complicated cases. The job description can be some what daunting at first but once settled in you will be fine. Don't be afraid to admit that you don't know the answer to a patient question. Just ask someone that does know and get back to the patient with the answer.


Key skills that can be gained within this job/role?

I have learned how to co-ordinate and the cardiac rehabilitation/secondary prevention programme and to effectively liaise with other members of the cardiac rehabilitation team. I have successfully managed my time and a busy case load.
My computer skills have improved. I have been able to develop patient education programmes suited to their individual needs and delivered them effectively. I have developed my interpersonal skills as I have had to deal with patients from a variety of educational and ethnic backgrounds. Communicated with them in a way tailored to their individual needs. I have also managed to navigate throughout Co Fermanagh without getting seriously lost.


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