NRS 410 Identify a cardiac or respiratory issue and outline the key steps necessary to include for prevention and health promotion

NRS 410 Identify a cardiac or respiratory issue and outline the key steps necessary to include for prevention and health promotion

NRS 410 Identify a cardiac or respiratory issue and outline the key steps necessary to include for prevention and health promotion

Heart failure (HF) is a condition in which the cardiac and respiratory systems are interrelated. With HF, the heart fails to adequately distribute blood throughout the pulmonary system and systemic vasculature (Cross et al., 2020). HF is a chronic, progressive condition, and the heart cannot pump blood efficiently to help meet the body’s needs. As the heart tries to keep up with demands, it becomes enlarged and pumps faster. As the heart weakens, the blood tends to back up in the body, and fluid passes into the tissues, which leads to swelling (Gilbert, 2018). It can affect the blood pressure in the lungs, also leading to the build-up of fluid in the air sacs causing shortness of breath and fatigue. To explain, a nurse would educate the patient and family on how the heart and lungs interact—using easy-to-understand terms to explain how the heart pumping action delivers oxygen and nutrient-rich blood throughout the body. The nurse can use a model or handouts illustrating the blood flow between the heart and lungs. They can also use videos or website sources to demonstrate how a weakened heart can cause respiratory symptoms. Assessing patients for their preferred learning styles is necessary to ensure they can learn and understand the information provided. 


Cross, T., Kim, C.-H., Johnson, B. D., & Lalande, S. (2020). The interactions between respiratory and cardiovascular systems in systolic heart failure. Journal of Applied Physiology128(1), 214–224.

Gilbert, J. (2018, February 23). How heart disease affects the respiratory system. Hometouch.

Pulmonary hypertension (PH) or pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is another condition related to the heart. Affecting the lungs’ blood vessels, the constriction or wall thickening prevents blood flow and causes pressure build-up (American Heart Association [AHA], 2022). Pre-existing diseases such as congenital heart defects (CHD) can trigger secondary PAH. Atrial or ventricular septal defects cause a left-to-right- shunting of blood, causing too much blood flow through the lungs, increasing stress on the heart, and the high-pressure scars lung blood vessels (AHA, 2022). It is vital to repair congenital heart problems early, if possible, to try to reverse or prevent further damage to the vessels. Educating patients and families on CHD and PAH is vital to ensure they understand its impact on their lives. They must understand the importance of regular follow-ups with providers and taking medications as prescribed. PAH patients should avoid some activities, such as smoking, certain types of exercise, traveling to high-altitude locations, and avoiding estrogen forms of contraception and pregnancy (AHA, 2022). Preventing infections is essential; therefore, patients must be educated on the importance of vaccinations and routine dental exams. Some may need antibiotic therapy before dental procedures to prevent endocarditis. CHD is not preventable, and some patients are diagnosed as adults. Ensuring patients understand the disease and its impact on their lives, including what lifestyle changes they can make to improve their symptoms and prevent complications, is needed. Teaching gives patients the information needed to make the best health and well-being decisions, and additional resources such as websites, support groups, and community resources support continued learning.


American Heart Association. (2022). Pulmonary hypertension and chd.

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and heart failure are different conditions. But both can make you short of breath when you do something physical, like exercise, climbing stairs, or walking for a long distance. Breathing problem happen for different reasons with these conditions. With COPD, it is hard to exhale all of the air in your lungs because of lung damage, often from years of smoking. If you have COPD, you most likely breathe comfortably when you are at rest. But when you are active, your breath starts coming in before air from your last exhale goes out which causes shortness of breath. If you have heart failure, your heart does not pump blood efficiently. As with COPD, if you have heart failure, you can probably breathe easily when at rest. With activity, blood flow must increase, and your heart must pump harder and faster. If your heart cannot keep up, blood “backs up” into your lungs. This fluid congestion causes shortness of breath. Trying to explain to the family in simple terms.


Carter, P., Lagan, J.,& Fortune, C., (2019). Association of cardiovascular disease with respiratory disease. J Am Coll Cardiol. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2018.11.063.

In the hospital where I work, atrial fibrillation is one of the most frequently encountered cardiac arrhythmias that we diagnose and treat. Having atrial fibrillation can put a person at an increased risk of having a stroke, particularly if the condition is not treated or diagnosed in a timely manner. Because of the irregular heart rate, atrial fibrillation can also lead to heart failure. More than 5 million people in the United States are currently living with atrial fibrillation, and it is anticipated that the number of people affected will rise to 12.1 million by the year 2030 (Streur, 2019). According to Streur (2019), the risk of developing atrial fibrillation is increased by a number of comorbid conditions and lifestyle factors. These factors include hypertension, coronary artery disease, heart failure, diabetes mellitus, obesity, hyperlipidemia, sleep apnea, hyperthyroidism, moderate to heavy alcohol consumption, smoking, and excessive exposure to ultraviolet light. There are things in this list that a person can change and things that one cannot change.

NRS 410 Identify a cardiac or respiratory issue and outline the key steps necessary to include for prevention and health promotion
NRS 410 Identify a cardiac or respiratory issue and outline the key steps necessary to include for prevention and health promotion

“The plan of care prioritizes the management of comorbid conditions in order to shorten the duration of atrial fibrillation and prevent its recurrence. It also emphasizes the control of heart rate in order to minimize symptoms and the prevention of thromboembolism and stroke” (Little, 2022). Age, gender, genetics, and ethnicity are examples of inborn predispositions that cannot be changed. People have the ability to reduce some of the risks by deciding to stop smoking, reduce their weight, and improve their diet. People who make the conscious decision not to change aspects of their lives that they have the ability to change have options, such as medication. To assist in maintaining a healthy heart rate, your doctor may recommend taking a medication known as a beta blocker. In addition, there are medications that can treat diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension. Education regarding each of these medications is of the utmost importance, as is the management of the diseases that put patients at risk for atrial fibrillation or for developing this disease.


Little, K. (2022). Atrial fibrillation: Recognition and management to improve quality of life: Keep patients at the center of decision making. American Nurse Today17(4), 10–16.

Streur, M. (2019). Atrial Fibrillation Symptom Perception. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners15(1), 60–64.

Where I use to work, we saw a lot of diagnosis of Atrial Fibrillation as well. Often after an Afib diagnosis, a cardiologist would order a transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE). A TEE is performed by putting a probe down the esophagus to record ultrasound images to evaluate for blood clots (Johnson, 2018). The TEE images can also diagnose things like heart failure, atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, and abnormal heart valves (Johnson, 2018). A TEE is a valuable tool that a cardiologist can use to help diagnose a patient.

Johnson, A. (2018). Pathophysiology Clinical Applications for Client Health (Chapter 1). Grand Canyon University (Ed).

Most of time atrial fibrillation is a chronic condition caused by damage to the heart through varying disease processes. What I learned years ago is that atrial fibrillation can be episodic and completely reverse itself. My grandma who in her 70’s developed aspiration pneumonia after 50+ years of smoking. I was sure this was the final time we would see her alive. She was ventilated and her suction canister was filled with black fluid from years of tar filled lungs. While she lay in the hospital ICU her heart converted into atrial fibrillation and plans were made for her to take long-term anticoagulants upon discharge. However, as the days past and her infection died her a-fib rhythm converted back into sinus rhythm. The irony of this is that she soon quit smoking just in time for a lung cancer diagnosis that finally took her life a few more years later. The point of my story is that pneumonia can trigger atrial fibrillation but is one of the few triggers that a-fib can be reversed from if treated, (Nichols, 2017). I saw this firsthand.

Nichols L. (2017). Pneumonia as a trigger for atrial fibrillation. Journal of rural medicine: JRM12(2), 146–148.

Heart disease refers to the illness that impacts the heart. The chief function of the heart is typically to enable the pumping of blood to the body organs. Prior to pumping the blood out to other body organs, the heart pumps blood to the lungs in order for it to be oxygenated (Jurio-Iriarte & Maldonado-Martín, 2018). Clearly, the cardiovascular systems has ties with the respiratory systems. Therefore, heart disease impacts the respiratory system as it will interfere with regular blood flow to and from the lungs. The connection between the cardiovascular and the respiratory systems is highly essential for adequate supply of oxygen to all body organs that aids proper functioning and survival of the body. Notably, heart disease is among one of the leading causes of death around the globe.

The causative agents of heart diseases ranges from age, family history, lifestyle choices, and gender among many others of which most of them can be easily prevented and managed. Thus, there are prevention and health promotion measures to control the causatives of heart disease. For starters, the major prevention and health promotion measures for heart disease is leading a life of regular workouts to facilitate fat and weight control (Mata, 2018). Secondly, heart disease can be prevented and managed by regularly checking the blood pressure levels considering it is a major heart disease threat. Further, heart disease could be easily avoided or managed by getting rid of bad habits such as smoking and consuming excessive levels of alcohol. Adhering to the above preventive and health promotion measures could protect an individual from succumbing to heart disease and thus such awareness should be created to the communities.


Jurio-Iriarte, B., & Maldonado-Martín, S. (2018). Effects of Different Exercise Training Programs on Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Overweight/Obese Adults With Hypertension: A Pilot Study. Health Promotion Practice20(3), 390-400. doi: 10.1177/1524839918774310

Mata, H. (2018). Welcome to the Special Food & Fitness Issue of Health Promotion Practice!. Health Promotion Practice19(1_suppl), 5S-5S. doi: 10.1177/1524839918792879

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the number one killer that effect both women and men in the world. CAD is basically the narrowing and thickening of the coronary arteries which are the artery that bring blood to heart.  This disease can be preventable as first we need to do modify our lifestyle.  What I mean by our lifestyle is that our diet, our body weight, include healthy diet, more exercise. As mentions in the article by MA RM.S. “Diet is a significant contributing factor to reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. According to ACC/AHA 2019, the plant-based Mediterranean diet (high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, whole grains, and fish) is highly recommended. Replacing saturated fats with dietary monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats are found to be beneficial to reduce cardiovascular risks” (2018). 

Other way to prevent CAD is such:

o   Quit smoking—or better yet, never start. 

o   Eat less of the foods that add to heart problems, and more of the foods that protect the heart. 

o   Become more active, and stay active, all through life. A good goal is at.

o   Keep your weight within the normal range on a Body Mass Index (BMI) chart

o   Find healthy outlets for your stress

MA R. M. S. (n.d.). Coronary artery disease prevention. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Retrieved July 20, 2022, from 

One type of cardiac issue is myocardial infarction with ST-elevate myocardial infarction (STEMI). A STEMI can be diagnosed from an electrocardiogram where an ST wave is elevated and does not return to baseline (Johnson, 2018). STEMI’s arise when a coronary artery becomes wholly occluded which deprives the cardiac muscle of oxygen leading to cardiac cellular death (Johnson, 2018). If a patient is having a STEMI it requires immediate attention. Treatment options include cardiac catheterization and thrombolytics (Johnson, 2018). Often the underlying cause of STEMI is coronary artery disease.

Coronary artery disease (CAD) happens when plaque builds up in the cardiovascular system, causing the arterial wall to harden and thicken (Johnson, 2018). To reduce CAD a person must control their modifiable risk factors which include, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, smoking, dyslipidemia, and obesity (Regmi & Siccardi, 2021). Primary prevention should start with lifestyle modification. These modifications include proper diet, smoking cessation, and exercise (Regmi & Siccardi, 2021). Secondary prevention involves pharmacological therapy. Some medications used are low-dose aspirin, blood pressure medication, and metformin for diabetics (Regmi & Siccardi, 2021).

Johnson, A. (2018). Pathophysiology Clinical Applications for Client Health (Chapter 1). Grand Canyon University (Ed).

Regmi, M., & Siccardi, M. (2021, November 8). Coronary Artery Disease Prevention. National Institute of Health.