Words of wisdom from a member of the Heart Team
Cardiology nurse practitioner Peggy Morley, MSN, says collaborating with your Heart Team can help any valve procedure go more smoothly. Here are her top tips.
Schedule tests promptly!
Questioning why you need so many tests before a heart procedure? “Rest assured, they are all necessary,” says Morley, who is based in Newport Beach, CA. Some help physicians determine whether you are a candidate for a specific procedure. Others allow doctors to measure the valve correctly and see how it infringes on other structures in the heart—critical when you’re undergoing TAVR where doctors don’t actually look at your heart. “Get these tests done right away if you have symptoms of aortic stenosis, such as shortness of breath and chest pain,” Morley urges. “You can ask your nurse coordinator to schedule more than one test in a day to minimize your trips to the hospital.” Getting tested quickly can get you the medical help you need, sooner!
Get a home evaluation by a visiting nurse.
Before your procedure, ask for a visiting nurse to come to your home to ensure it’s a safe place to return to after your hospital stay,” says Morley. The extra benefits? “It helps you develop a relationship with your nurse. And it allows the nurse to get a ‘baseline’—an idea of what you’re able to do and how you feel before the procedure.”