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Caithness General Hospital


To many people in our local community, the thought of suffering a heart attack, or having to have cardiac surgery, is an anxiety provoking time, and the need for support and guidance is very important, both to themselves and their family. Highland NHS in Caithness provides a comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation / support service, which provides professional input to patients both in hospital, and also in the local community. The specialist nurse for cardiac care is based at Caithness general hospital, and his name is Michael McGivern. During a patients stay in hospital, they will often be seen by other members of the cardiac care team, such as the pharmacist and physiotherapist.

The specialist nurse aims to provide an effective rehabilitation / support service to all patients who have suffered a heart attack, and provides professional input via home visits and the hospital out-patient cardiac rehabilitation programme. As part of his practice, he uses a wide range of educational materials, in order to assist individuals in their recovery. We are very aware that cardiac events are a very emotional and stressful time for all family members, and the cardiac care team aims to provide support, guidance and education, in order to help minimise anxiety and depression.

As well as those people who have suffered a heart attack, the specialist nurse will also provide professional care to patients who are awaiting cardiac surgery, and on their return home following their operation. He would encourage all patients who are awaiting cardiac surgery to contact him, so that support and education can be provided according to the persons individual needs. At present the service does not cover children awaiting cardiac surgery, but Michael will be more than happy to put parents in touch with the cardiac support team at Yorkhill hospital in Glasgow.

A service is also provided to people who have been medically diagnosed as having angina, and those individuals who are attending hospital for an angiogram or angioplasty. People who have been recently told that they are suffering from angina, often are very anxious and frightened, and may have many misconceptions about this condition. The specialist nurse aims to provide people with the right information and guidance, in order to help reduce their levels of anxiety.

It is important to stress that the cardiac rehabilitation/support service is totally confidential and free of charge, and Michael is very keen to provide a comprehensive and supportive cardiac care service in the community to the people of Caithness. There are often aspects of a persons life which relate to coronary artery disease which individuals find difficult to discuss, and these problems can have a significant effect on their life and that of their family.

The cardiac rehabilitation/support service operates from Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm, and is there to be used by the people of Caithness, particularly those people who are finding life difficult, due to their cardiac problems.

Michael McGivern can be contacted on Wick 01955 880214, or can be paged via Caithness general hospital switchboard (01955 605050).

Hearts For Life

Children's Heart Federation Helpline 0808 808 5000
Impotence Association Helpline 0208 767 7791