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Insight from a Cath Lab Nurse

Heart and stethoscope

Cynthia (Cindy) Romero, RN has been a Catheterization Laboratory Nurse with Seton Medical Center Harker Heights for two and a half years and has been a nurse for almost 14 years. When asked what her favorite part about working in the catheterization laboratory (cath lab) is, Cindy shares her passion for excellent patient care. “I love being part of a team that is dedicated to helping patients during some of the worst times of people’s lives. Seeing a patient get discharged alive and well after a heart attack is an amazing feeling, “she says. In light of celebrating National Heart Month, Cindy agreed to answer the following questions about heart health.

What can people do to ensure a healthier heart?

Cindy shares, “The first few things that any person can do to ensure a healthy heart is to make healthy changes on risk factors that can be controlled. These risks are smoking, exercise, diet, and stress. If you smoke, you want to quit today! If you have a sedentary lifestyle then you want to get moving! Find something you enjoy like walking, Zumba, running, biking or anything that will get your heart rate up for 30-60 minutes daily. Moving will also help with stress relief. Exercise is a great way to release some of our daily stresses. Finally, with diet, eat food in its purest form. Minimize processed foods and eat out as little as you can. You don’t have to follow a specific diet if you eat whole foods such as fresh vegetables and fruits.”

How does a person’s eating habits attribute to heart disease?

“A person’s eating habits can definitely affect their heart health. Eating a lot of processed food can lead to inflammation and overall poor health which, of course, leads to heart disease,” she says.

What is one of the biggest misconceptions about heart disease?

Cindy says, “One of the biggest misconceptions about heart disease is chest pain. People often think that every heart attack begins with chest pain but many people never even experience any symptoms. It is also true that heart disease manifests differently in women so it is very important for them to be aware of what signs and symptoms to look for.”

How does being overweight affect blood pressure?

“Being overweight can simply affect your blood pressure because it puts more stress on your heart. Being overweight is also the beginnings of other problems such as diabetes. Diseases such as high blood pressure, if left untreated, can be extremely harmful to the heart,” she says.

Managing your cardiovascular health is imperative and we understand that you may have further questions about your heart health. At Seton Medical Center Harker Heights, a Diagnostic and Interventional Cardiologist is available at all times for consultation. Please call 855-855-4469 to schedule an appointment today.

If you or someone you know is having a heart attack, call 911 immediately.