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Heart health promotion starts with us

Published in Canadian Nurse – May 2015

The Canadian Council of Cardiovascular Nurses’ (CCCN) national advocacy slogan — Health promotion starts with us — encourages nurses to look after their own cardiovascular health by increasing physical activity, minimizing stress, choosing healthy foods and becoming tobacco free.

Other health promotion activities are designed to reach the public directly. For instance, CCCN will mark World Hypertension Day (May 17) with blood pressure clinics across the country and World No Tobacco Day (May 31) by supporting provincial and territorial initiatives that promote smoking cessation.

To support nurses, CCCN has developed a number of evidence-based clinical resources. Our recent Hypertension Update 2015, for instance, gives nurses the most current evidence on hypertension goals and treatment options. And our website offers materials on the care of patients with acute coronary syndromes, heart failure and targeted temperature management, post-cardiac arrest.

Our newest resource is a position statement called Advance Care Planning and the Role of the Cardiovascular Nurse. Published to coincide with National Advance Care Planning Day (April 16), it suggests that nurses begin advance care planning discussions at the time of cardiac diagnoses.

While in the 1950s cardiovascular disease was responsible for almost 50 per cent of deaths in Canada, today that figure is about 25 per cent! Encouraged by this progress, we look forward to our spring conference (Ottawa, May 29) where we will exchange leading-edge cardiovascular research and explore our profession’s role in heart health promotion and advocacy. Learn more about us and our work at cccn.ca.

By guest columnist:
Susan Morris, RN, BN, MEd, CNCC(C), CCN(C)
President, Canadian Council of Cardiovascular Nurses