By Denise Williams | News & Views
While the workshop at the North Pole gets a lot of press every December, it’s the one later in the year at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse (UWL) that arguably has the best gifts for emerging cardiac rehabilitation professionals.
UWL’s La Crosse Exercise and Health Program (LEHP) is inviting attendees to campus April 25-28, 2022, to take part in its Comprehensive Cardiac Rehabilitation Workshop, widely regarded as an indispensable resource for newcomers to the field of CR. In a testament to its popularity, the event has been going strong for 43 years—including five in cooperation with AACVPR.
Workshop director Kim Radtke, PhD, CCRP, RCEP, who is Executive Director of LEHP and also sits on the Emerging Professionals committee at AACVPR, offers a look at some of the profiles who would benefit most from attending. Nurses, for example, tend to be strongly represented. These individuals work across the spectrum of healthcare and may have years of experience under their belt, Radtke notes, but if they transfer into a CR setting from a completely different department or background, they may find themselves in unfamiliar territory. The workshop can help get them acclimated to what CR is all about and how to work effectively in this context, she says.
Additionally, Radtke explains, this continuing education opportunity is a good fit for respiratory therapists and/or physical therapists who are just entering the CR space or clinical exercise physiologists who perhaps have not yet accumulated the optimal range of clinical training that would benefit them. Even medical directors who have not worked in CR before will find the event enlightening, she adds.
Covering the Bases
Regardless of what circumstances bring them to the workshop, the goal is for all participants to leave with the knowledge they need to succeed in a CR setting. Over a jam-packed four days, which breaks up the daytime learning with some evening social activities, registrants will find themselves immersed in the nuances of program design and administration, including advice on starting a program and reimbursement guidelines. Other areas of focus include exercise programming, practical experiences and patient support services, including smoking cessation and nutrition counseling.
That education will be delivered at the hands of nationally known experts, including John Porcari, PhD, RCEP, MAACVPR, FACSM, the past AACVPR president who orchestrated the association’s involvement in promoting the workshop. Porcari will speak about Clinical Exercise Physiology, Graded Exercise Testing and Resistance Training in Cardiac Rehabilitation.
The agenda also includes a discussion on Exercise Prescription and Motivational Interviewing by Teresa Eber-Lee, EdD, RCEP, CCRP, a session on Performance Measures in Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation and AACVPR Program Certification by Kim Beyer, BS, FAACVPR and a presentation by former AACVPR President Barb Fagan, MS, MAACVPR on Hybrid Cardiac Rehabilitation, among others.
The program will combine passive learning with an active component. UWL has one of the few programs in the country that offers a clinically supervised exercise program, and administrators have incorporated it into the training. Workshop-goers will get to drop in on the program “while it’s in action,” Radtke says, complete with a tour and actual participation in group-led exercises classes similar to what patients undergo. “They get a day in the life of what it looks like in a long-term maintenance program.”
A staple in the CR educational universe for decades, the workshop did have to cancel the April 2020 and April 2021 events due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. For 2022, in light of both CDC and UW System recommended practices, Radtke expects that use of face coverings will be required by the next class of workshop attendees. If the public health risk is not manageable by spring, LEHP will instead offer an option to access a pre-recorded Zoom virtual meeting.
Workshop participants may receive up to 25 continuing education credits. For logistical and other reasons, Radtke says only 60 slots are offered per event, so it’s better to register earlier than later. AACVPR or Affiliate Society members receive a $25 discount off the registration fee.