Full Course Description

This course is designed to expose physical therapists and physical therapy students to the examination and treatment of patients or clients with primary or secondary cardiovascular and/or pulmonary disorders. Learners will receive instruction on best practices to integrate and apply existing evidence into comprehensive patient-client management programs. This course is designed to challenge students to differentiate and prioritize clinical findings based upon level of acuity, patient preference, and knowledge of anatomy, pathophysiology, pharmacology, and diagnostic imaging. Case scenarios will integrate principles of differential diagnosis and establishment of long term management of cardiovascular and pulmonary conditions.


Upon successful completion of the course, the participant will:

  • Design a simulated prevention and wellness program, including screening and health promotion for individuals who are at risk for development of cardiovascular disorders is appropriate.
  • Articulate contraindications/termination points for activity/exercise.
  • Compare the use of the Clinical Decision Rule in designated patient cases.
  • Distinguish these common Endurance Tests:
    • 10-meter walk velocity test
    • 2-minute step test
    • 6-minute walk test
    • 1-mile walk/jog test
  • Distinguish the probable cause of endurance impairments from sample cases.
  • Defend the importance of physiological monitoring (for heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and pulse oximetry) of patients while at rest and during exercise in sample cases.
  • Decide on the amount and significance of ST-depression/elevation in sample cases.
  • Articulate how dysrhythmias affect palpation of pulse, heart sounds, and blood pressure in sample cases.
  • For these basic dysrhythmias, compare the functional significance (hazards and or could lead to cardiac compromise):
    • Bradycardia
    • Tachycardia (PAT, SV-Tach, V-Tach)
    • Atrial and ventricular flutter
    • Atrial and ventricular fibrillation
    • 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-degree AV conduction blocks
    • Pre-atrial contraction – PAC
    • Pre-nodal (junctional) contraction – PNC
    • Pre-ventricular contraction – PVC
    • Bigeminy, trigeminy, quadrigeminy
    • Escape beats – atrial, nodal and ventricular
  • Compare the four phases of cardiac rehabilitation (the approximate time sequence, and general emphasis of each phase).
  • Compare the best method(s) to examine endurance and other relevant impairments for the following:
    • Peripheral vascular disease (PVD, ABI)
    • Rate pressure product (HR x SBP)
    • PFT’s
    • BMI
  • Utilize spreadsheets for prediction of the following in assigned cases:
    • VO2
    • BMI
    • Reference distances for: 6-meter walk test, 1-mile walk test, and 1-mile jog test