One of the most common phrases Jeanna Warman, CRT, hears patients say is, “I didn’t know that was available here!” Frankly, she is a little tired of hearing it. That’s because she manages the Cardiopulmonary Department at Prowers Medical Center and she is well aware of the extensive cardiology services offered right here at home from visiting cardiologists and hospital providers.
“We’re rural but our healthcare is not. We have a much more extensive cardiology program than people in town realize,” says Jeanna Warman, CRT, Cardiopulmonary Department Supervisor at Prowers Medical Center.
Did you know that Prowers Medical Center offers a variety of diagnostic tests for heart health well beyond an EKG? It also has the only Cardiac Rehabilitation Program in SE Colorado, serving patients south of Pueblo and east of Walsenburg. Most importantly, it’s well prepared for heart attacks.
The hospital’s cardiology team and emergency department are ready to handle a heart attack. The hospital is not only meeting, but exceeding, set national standards for quick care with EKG monitoring. All emergency nurses are trained to provide tPA clot busting medicine. They are also skilled at preparing patients for transport via helicopter to a larger hospital in Colorado Springs or Pueblo where cardiologists are waiting to perform emergency surgeries.
When administered in a timely manner, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) saves lives and functionality. Blood clots are the main cause of heart attacks and strokes, so it’s crucial to break up and dissolve the clot as quickly as possible.
“Our emergency nurses are fantastically trained to provide tPA and when a heart attack is in progress, our emergency team is immediately online with a cardiologist so we can hit the ground running. The national standard to administer an EKG is 10 minutes once they come through the door. We are consistently meeting that standard and also setting new goals to get even better times,” Warman says.
When patients return home after surgery, the cardiology team is ready to work with them to strengthen their hearts. Cardiac-trained nurses re-teach the heart to accept activity again through individual and group sessions. The cardiac rehabilitation area includes treadmills, arm bikes, weights, a new step machine, and more.
“We do everything we can to get our patients physically healthier than they were before. We also provide tons of personal education on their heart condition,” Warman says.
A variety of diagnostic tests are available. Stress tests (including stress echocardiograms), defibrillator tests (ICD) and pacemaker monitoring are all offered at
Prowers Medical Center under the supervision of cardiologists who come to the specialty clinic. Between the two of them—Dr. Gustafson and Dr. Gibson—a cardiologist is available for appointments once or twice a week.
“Both of our cardiologists have a great rapport with patients and work really well with our team to make sure patients have their needs met and receive the best care,” Warman says.
The Pacemaker Clinic monitors pacemaker devices continually and provides regular checks at three (3) and six (6) months, reporting all data to the patient’s doctor. Cardiologists also use 24- and 48-hour Holter monitors that record information continually from the time they put one on to when the patient takes it off.
“It’s like taking a cardiologist home with you to see what’s going on,” Warman says.
Holter monitors are worn while sleeping, during exercise and with daily routines to show heart behavior during every activity. If a patient feels racing or ‘flip-flopping’ they simply push a button to mark the event.
“We want to get the word out about what great cardiology services we have here at Prowers Medical Center. Our patients say that they feel like a number at larger hospitals, but here they feel like they are with family,” she concludes.