Since you clicked on this page, two things are probably true:
Career planning starts with education choices and good advice from a career counselor – Pump up the brain!
You might still be in high school. If so, keep up the good work – you’re almost done! Most people with CHD who go to college or university can study whatever interests them.
But it’s probably good to keep in mind how much physical work is involved in the college or university program and whether your heart is up for it. For example, many Physical Education or Kinesiology programs require students to do some hard physical activity. So look at the course outlines ahead of time – it wouldn’t be fun if you got part-way through a program and later found out that it wasn’t a good match for your heart!
Picking a college or university – Map it out!
For people with CHD with physical limitations, it is a good idea to look at the physical lay-out of the college or university. Some campuses are spread out over large areas and students will have classes in many different buildings. If you tire easily when walking, choose a school with shorter walking distances. You might want to check out the actual buildings. Some old buildings are really beautiful…and full of staircases. You could be climbing those stairs every day for two to four years....
If you’re going to live on campus, you should think about these same things (like walking distance). You might find a great apartment, but it might not be that great if you have to climb 4 flights of stairs or walk 8 blocks to and from classes in the middle of winter.
Need some extra help or extra time with school?
If so, ask your cardiologist to write you a letter ahead of time. You can give this letter to Student Health or Disability Services at your school. These services make sure that physical needs are considered while you’re at school. For example, you might need extra time to do your school work if you are unwell or in the hospital.
You might want to check out these helpful videos about ‘Becoming an Adult’!
Once you have finished your school or training, you might suddenly think…Now I need to get a job!!
Our advice: Work the brain and not the bicep!
We often recommend that people with CHD aim for 'desk’ jobs instead of heavy physical work for the best long-term career results.
For example, some people with CHD might study landscaping at college and graduate and start working as a landscaper. This might be fine for a patient in their early 20’s. But if that person has a weak heart, this might not be a good job when they’re older.
Remember – you might work at your job for 30 – 40 years. Plan ahead and think about the impact of your CHD in the short and long-term. You can ask your doctor what he or she thinks your heart will be like in 10 years…in 20 years…in 30 years. Can it do the job you’re planning to do?
Something to consider: Employee Benefits
You need life-long medical care for your heart condition. You might also have future hospital stays.
Look for a company with a good Benefits package. When we talk about Benefits, we mean the following:
You may want to ask your cardiologist the following questions:
This website is designed specifically for young people with congenital heart disease. The goal is to provide information to help people who are getting ready to move (or have recently moved) to adult heart care. We use the term ‘transition’ to describe this process. Family, friends and health care providers may also find this website helpful.
Please be advised this site does not provide medical advice. All of the content on this website is provided for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have or suspect you have a health problem, please consult your family physician. If you have or suspect you are experiencing a health emergency, please promptly visit a Hospital Emergency Department in your area. Reliance on any information provided on or provided in relation to the site is solely at your own risk. Contributors to this website are not responsible, nor liable, for any claim, loss or damage arising from the use of the information contained within this site.
Any websites linked from this website are created by other organizations. Those organizations are responsible for the information contained within their sites. We are not responsible for the content of linked third-party sites or third-party advertisements and do not make any representations regarding their content or accuracy. Your use of third-party websites is at your own risk and subject to the terms and conditions of use for such sites. Any specific comments regarding these sites should be directed toward that individual organization.
We have a simple ‘Getting to Know You’ survey that we ask all visitors to complete (we don’t ask for any personal health information). Website browsing activity will be monitored so that we can learn about the people who visit the website, how often people visit the website, and the web pages that are visited most often. This will help us decide which changes and improvements to make to the website in the future. Results from this project will be described for groups of website visitors (i.e., not for individual users).
Anyone can visit this website and most users will create their own User IDs and passwords. However, there are also Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) and pediatric cardiology programs that have officially joined the iHeartChange team and work together to keep this website going. (You can find a list of the ACHD programs in the ‘Welcome to Adult Care’ section of the website). Some of these programs might choose to assign User IDs so that they can track of and how patients from their own programs visit the website. They might even want to track this for research. If you have been assigned a User ID from a program, that program might ask us to give them information about your answers to the ‘Getting to Know You’ survey, how many times you log into the website and which web pages you visit.
Please click below to indicate that you have read the Disclaimer.
We recommend that you register by creating your own User ID and password.
This will allow you to log in again and keep track of which pages on the website you visit.
If you visit them all, you can earn a transition diploma!
If you register, it also means that you won’t be shown the disclaimer & survey each time that you visit.
However, registration is not required.
Reminder: please write down your User ID and password for safekeeping
because we don’t store your email address for password reset!
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Knowing your background will help us make this website even better for you.
We won’t ask you for personal health information.
This short survey will only take a minute or two to complete.
We hope you enjoy your visit!
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HELPING YOU MAKE THE MOVE TO ADULT CONGENITAL HEART DISEASE CARE
Thanks for checking out our website!
This website is designed mainly for young people with congenital heart disease (CHD). The aim is to help people feel more ready to “transition” from pediatric to adult care. And we know that family, friends and health care providers might also want to check it out!
Since this is your first visit, please read our disclaimer!