“It’s very rewarding to see the immediate return of people recovering.”

by Caitlin Geiger

“It’s very rewarding to see the immediate return of people recovering.” — Shannon Isom, M.S. ’12

Healing Through Exercise

The new patient had been added to the roster of Shannon Isom, M.S. ’12, for cardiac rehabilitation therapy. Although Ms. Isom had worked with an array of patients from all walks of life, differing in age, socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds, who are often apprehensive when first prescribed cardiac or pulmonary rehabilitation therapy, she knew that this case presented a challenge.

The elderly man didn’t trust the process. “We had to really be careful about how we approached him and worked with him,” Ms. Isom said, “but at the same time, trying to make the experience as fun and as memorable as possible for the patient.” Upon graduating from the cardiac rehab program, her patient had completely changed his attitude. He improved greatly throughout the process and grew to trust Ms. Isom and her entire team. “We really broke down walls with him,” she said. “I greatly love helping these patients be able to do the same if not more daily work without having any issues or pain as before their cardiac event or pulmonary exacerbation.”

This experience is par for the course for Ms. Isom, an exercise physiologist in the Alice Lawrence Center for Cardiac and Pulmonary Health at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Manhattan, New York. Depending on the day, Ms. Isom might be running cardiac and pulmonary stress testing, with the supervision of a cardiologist or pulmonologist, and when not performing testing, she is regularly monitoring the cardiac and pulmonary patients while they exercise, according to the prescription set by the program’s doctor. “Adelphi University really helped prepare me for the fast pace and workload of the hospital,” she said.

As a student in the Ruth S. Ammon School of Education, Ms. Isom served as a graduate assistant in the adult fitness program. Ms. Isom performed stress tests and devised proper workout routines based on the results received. “It’s very rewarding to see the immediate return of people recovering,” Ms. Isom said. She recently graduated from Adelphi with a Master of Science in Exercise Science.

Just beginning her career, Ms. Isom is already thinking about furthering her education. “I would love to get my Ph.D.,” she said, “because my heart lies in research. I love finding new data and the process of data collection. This clinical experience has given me new insight into the opportunities available to me.”

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