CARDIOLOGIST What does a cardiologist do? A cardiologist is a doctor who specializes in caring for your heart and blood vessel health.

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1 YOUR TREATMENT TEAM CARDIOLOGIST What does a cardiologist do? A cardiologist is a doctor who specializes in caring for your heart and blood vessel health. To become a cardiologist, a doctor completes additional years of specialized medical education about the heart and blood vessels. If you have (or have had) a heart or blood vessel problem, you might see a cardiologist regularly, as well as your primary care or family doctor. Here are some things a cardiologist may do: Treat blocked arteries either the coronary arteries (in your heart) or the carotid arteries (in your neck) Monitor your risks of heart attack, heart failure, heart valve disease, or abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias) Perform cardiac catheterizations Evaluate Holter monitor or event recorder tests Implant heart devices like pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs), or heart failure devices DIETICIAN What does a dietitian do? A dietitian is a health care provider who helps you manage your diet so you get well and stay as healthy as possible. If you have a heart or blood vessel condition, a dietitian can help you with eating plans to improve your heart and blood vessel health. Here are some things a dietitian may do: Advise you about your eating habits Recommend changes in your diet, such as using less salt if you have heart failure or high blood pressure, or cutting back on fat and sugar if you are overweight Give you recipes to help you reach your dietary goals Offer tips for eating out in a heart-healthy way Your Treatment Team HEARTISTRY brought to you by Boston Scientific Corporation Page 1 of 8

2 ELECTROPHYSIOLOGIST What does an electrophysiologist do? An electrophysiologist is a doctor who specializes in the heart s electrical system. Electrophysiologists are experts in diagnosing and treating irregular heartbeats called arrhythmias. To become an electrophysiologist, a doctor must first become a cardiologist a doctor who focuses on heart and blood vessel health. Then there are additional years of medical education focusing on even more specialized care in electrophysiology. Electrophysiology is the study of the heart s electrical system. Here are some things an electrophysiologist may do: Evaluate Holter monitor or event recorder tests Implant devices such as pacemakers to speed up slow heartbeats, implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) to correct very rapid heartbeats, and heart failure devices to help coordinate the heart s pumping action Perform electrophysiology (EP) tests Perform procedures related to arrhythmias, such as ablations or the maze procedure HEART FAILURE TEAM Heart failure is a complex disease that affects not only the heart, but the kidneys and lungs. Since people with heart failure often deal with a number of symptoms, they usually need ongoing care. In many cases that care is provided by a team of medical professionals the Heart Failure Team. Each member of the team has a different role in helping to manage symptoms. Your Heart Failure Team may consist of a heart failure specialist, a heart failure nurse, and a dietitian, among others. Their typical roles are described below. Heart Failure Specialist What does a heart failure specialist do? A heart failure specialist is a doctor who cares for people with heart failure. To become a heart failure specialist, a doctor must first become a cardiologist a doctor who specializes in heart and blood vessel health. A cardiologist can then decide to focus specifically on caring for patients with heart failure. Here are some things a heart failure specialist may do: Ask about symptoms to detect changes in your condition Order and check blood tests Prescribe medications and adjust your dosage as needed Implant devices such as heart failure devices to help coordinate your heart s pumping action Use a secure website to check heart health and specific device data from the remote monitoring of the device Nurse Your Treatment Team HEARTISTRY brought to you by Boston Scientific Corporation Page 2 of 8

3 What does a nurse do? A nurse is a health care provider who helps you stay as healthy as possible. When working as part of a Heart Failure Team, a nurse specializes in caring for people with heart failure. These nurses provide direct care when you come in for check-ups. They may also help you and your family learn how to relieve some of your symptoms. And they pay close attention to see if your symptoms get worse. For instance, nurses who work on a Heart Failure Team could ask you to do the following: Check your weight, blood pressure, and symptoms every day Call if there are significant changes By monitoring your symptoms, nurses can make sure you get a different dose or type of medication as soon as it's needed. Sometimes a change in medication can help you avoid hospitalization. Here are some other things nurses may do: Help with physical exams Prepare you for or assist with a test, procedure, or surgery Care for you as needed after a procedure or surgery Give you medicine Answer questions about heart failure Dietitian What does a dietitian do? A dietitian is a health care provider who helps you manage your diet so you stay as healthy as possible. If you have heart failure, a dietitian can help you with eating plans to help improve your symptoms. Eating foods low in sodium (salt), for example, can help reduce excess fluid that can cause symptoms (such as swelling in the legs and feet). Here are some things a dietitian may do: Advise you about your eating habits Recommend changes in your diet, such as using less salt (sodium) and, if you are overweight, cutting back on fat and sugar Give you recipes to help you reach your dietary goals Offer tips about low-sodium foods to order when you eat out INTERVENTIONAL CARDIOLOGIST What does an interventional cardiologist do? An interventional cardiologist is a doctor who specializes in procedures to treat heart and blood vessel conditions. To become an interventional cardiologist, a doctor must first become a Your Treatment Team HEARTISTRY brought to you by Boston Scientific Corporation Page 3 of 8

4 cardiologist a doctor who specializes in heart and blood vessel health. Then there are additional years of medical education focusing on heart and blood vessel procedures, or interventions. Here are some things an interventional cardiologist may do: Perform cardiac catheterizations Perform angioplasty or atherectomy procedures Implant stents (tiny metal mesh tubes) to help keep an artery open after a procedure (like an angioplasty) has unblocked the artery Implant heart devices like pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs), or heart failure devices MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL What does a mental health professional do? A mental health professional is a health care provider who focuses on mental, emotional, and behavioral conditions or difficulties. A mental health professional can also help you deal with your outlook on life. Some people find that, after a heart attack or a major surgery, they need help adjusting to their health condition and any life changes they may need to make. Most of the other treatment team members take care of your physical health. But mental health professionals care for your mental and emotional health which is just as important as your physical health. There are many types of mental health professionals, including those described below. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (MD) who specializes in treating mental, emotional, or behavioral conditions or difficulties. A psychiatrist has additional years of medical education in mental health. A psychiatrist can prescribe medications as well as offer counseling. A psychologist is a mental health provider who focuses on mental, emotional, and behavioral conditions or difficulties. A psychologist does not prescribe medication and is not a medical doctor. A psychologist usually has a doctoral degree (PsyD or PhD) in psychology. Some psychologists focus on different kinds of mental testing. Others offer one-on-one counseling, as well as couples, family, or group counseling. A psychiatric nurse is a registered nurse (RN) who works in a mental health or counseling setting. A psychiatric nurse practitioner (PNP) is an RN who has additional year of nursing education in caring for people with mental, emotional, and behavioral conditions or difficulties. In some states, a psychiatric nurse practitioner may prescribe medications as well as offer counseling. Your Treatment Team HEARTISTRY brought to you by Boston Scientific Corporation Page 4 of 8

5 Here are things that some mental health professionals may do: * Help you adjust to your health condition * Work to help you change certain behaviors * Suggest new ways of thinking about yourself and your health condition * Prescribe medications if needed * Help turn a negative attitude into a positive one NURSE What does a nurse do? A nurse is a health care provider who helps you get well or stay as healthy as possible. Nurses provide direct patient care, but they also help you and your family learn about your heart or blood vessel condition. Some nurses work in hospitals. Other nurses work in clinics or doctors' offices. Some even give advice over the phone. Regardless of where the nurse works, you should feel free to ask any questions you have. In some cases a licensed practical nurse (LPN) may refer your questions to a registered nurse (RN), who has more nursing education. And in other cases an LPN or RN may refer your questions to your doctor. Here are some things a nurse may do: Help with physical exams Prepare you for or assist with a test, procedure, or surgery Care for you as needed after a procedure or surgery Monitor your vital signs your blood pressure, temperature, and breathing Give you medicine Answer questions about your health condition NURSE PRACTITIONER What does a nurse practitioner do? A nurse practitioner is a nurse who gives care that is more advanced or complex than that given by a registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN). Depending on state laws, nurse practitioners may be able to prescribe medications. In some states, nurse practitioners must work along with, or be supervised by, a doctor. To become a nurse practitioner, a nurse completes a master's degree and additional specialized medical courses. Nurse practitioners study a certain type of care, such as the care of adults or children. They may then decide to focus on one particular area for instance, diabetes or heart and blood vessel conditions. Here are some things a nurse practitioner may do: Perform physical exams Diagnose common illnesses and conditions Prescribe medications and recommend other treatments Your Treatment Team HEARTISTRY brought to you by Boston Scientific Corporation Page 5 of 8

6 Monitor your health condition PHARMACIST What does a pharmacist do? A pharmacist is a health care provider who prepares and dispenses medications. The pharmacist can also answer questions about your medications. Here are some things a pharmacist may do: Fill your prescriptions Talk to your doctor about the dosage and side effects of your medications Advise you about how your medication might affect you Explain whether a certain medication may interfere with other medications or supplements Answer questions about your medications PHYSICAL THERAPIST What does a physical therapist do? A physical therapist is a health care provider who helps you with your ability to move without pain, and do the activities of daily life. A physical therapist can often help relieve pain in your muscles or joints. By recommending certain exercises, a physical therapist can also help prevent physical problems from getting worse over time. Here are some things a physical therapist may do: Ask you to walk, bend, or move in certain ways, to pinpoint the muscles or joints causing pain Test your strength, range of motion, balance, coordination, posture, and muscle strength Show you exercises that can help, and design an exercise plan for you Relieve pain with treatments such as electrical stimulation, hot packs, cold compresses, or deep-tissue massage PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT What does a physician assistant do? A physician assistant is a health care provider who works under a doctor s supervision to give you medical care. Physician assistants work as part of your health care team to diagnose and treat patients. To become a physician assistant, a person completes medical education courses. Usually physician assistant programs are offered through medical schools, but the programs are shorter than those for doctors. Here are some things a physician assistant may do: Perform physical exams Diagnose and treat common illnesses and conditions Your Treatment Team HEARTISTRY brought to you by Boston Scientific Corporation Page 6 of 8

7 Order and check lab tests and x-rays Prescribe medications and recommend other treatments Monitor your health condition PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN What does your primary care physician do? Primary care (or family) doctors are often your main health care contact. They provide treatment for everything from flu shots to sinus infections. They may also take care of your heart and blood vessels, unless you need treatment by a specialist. Here are some things a primary care physician may do: Perform physical exams Diagnose and treat common illnesses and health conditions Ask about symptoms to detect changes in your condition Prescribe medications and adjust your dosage as needed Order and check lab tests and x-rays Monitor your health Send you to specialists as needed VASCULAR AND CARDIAC SURGEIONS What do vascular and cardiac surgeons do? A vascular or cardiac surgeon is a doctor who specializes in complex surgeries, rather than simple procedures. Vascular surgeons specialize in blood vessel surgeries. Cardiac surgeons specialize in heart surgeries. Remember that the heart can't do its job without the blood vessels, and vice versa. So surgeries for heart and blood vessel problems are closely related too. Because of that, vascular and cardiac surgeons sometimes perform some of the same types of surgery. For instance, a cardiac (heart) surgeon might also repair blood vessels. To become a vascular or cardiac surgeon, a doctor must first become a general surgeon. Becoming a surgeon requires additional years of specialized study and training about all types of surgery. Then the surgeon completes additional years of medical education about either vascular or cardiac surgery. Here are some things a vascular surgeon may do: Perform an endarterectomy (to clear a blocked artery) Repair weak or burst blood vessels, known as aneurysms Perform bypass surgery Here are some things a cardiac surgeon may do: Perform procedures or surgeries related to heart rhythms, such as ablations or the maze procedure Treat valve disease by repairing or replacing heart valves Repair tiny holes in the heart, known as atrial septal defects Perform bypass surgery Your Treatment Team HEARTISTRY brought to you by Boston Scientific Corporation Page 7 of 8

8 Perform heart transplants Important Safety Information HEARTISTRY is provided for informational purposes only. It is not meant to replace any doctor s advice. Always talk to your doctor before staring any new treatment or program. Boston Scientific is a trademark and HEARTISTRY is a service mark of Boston Scientific Corporation. Your Treatment Team HEARTISTRY brought to you by Boston Scientific Corporation Page 8 of 8

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