The Heart of the Matter
Ramon Garcia M’23 is looking forward to a career as an exercise physiologist in cardiac rehabilitation, especially after his recent clinical placement as part of his master’s program in clinical exercise physiology at LVC.
Garcia was already working as an exercise specialist at St. Luke’s Fitness and Performance Centers, where he conducted assessments, instructed group fitness classes, and created individualized exercise programs for the general population and graduates of the rehabilitation programs.
Through his work at St. Luke’s, he learned about the clinical placement available in their cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation area. As part of his day, he welcomed patients and connected them to a portable electrocardiogram, which was monitored throughout their stay. Garcia would take the patient’s resting blood pressure, and they would begin their exercise while being guided by Garcia and other staff.
“One experience that touched me was when a patient told me he was completing his cardiac rehab, and I congratulated him. Then he thanked me for everything I did with him while he was there. He said that he looked forward to chatting with me and that I made it a good time for him,” said Garcia.
Interpreting the EKG and communicating with clients are two of the skills Garcia strengthened during the three in-person residency weekends held at LVC. Though primarily an online program, Garcia and other students gathered together three times to review skills and connect with faculty.
“I always loved to help others, and fitness is my mode to help others achieve their goals and desires,” said Garcia. “Once I started to learn about the cardiovascular system and how our body works, I was so amazed that I did more research to find the career of my dreams, working in cardiac rehabilitation.
“The most rewarding thing about this profession is knowing that I positively impact a patient’s day. It’s amazing how much of a difference a patient makes in their health and attitude from the beginning to the end of the program.”
— Natalie Santangelo ’23, Marketing & Communications Student Assistant