"Take Heart ..."--developing support sessions for families of acutely ill cardiac patients


Department of Nursing Services, St. Luke's Medical Center


The diagnosis of a cardiac illness and subsequent adjustment to a permanently altered lifestyle have profound impact on patient and family. Nurses are in a key position to support the cardiac family during crisis and assist them in recovery. Within the group environment, the nurse can clarify perceptions of the cardiac event, explore alternative coping strategies, and facilitate the development of new social supports. This article describes the development of "Take Heart..." cardiac family support sessions at St. Luke's Medical Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It focuses on assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation strategies with recommendations for future research.

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