Cardiovascular Disease: Implications for the Physical and Occupational Therapist

Course Description

This 2 day course emphasizes key considerations applicable to the physical and occupational therapist in effectively managing patients with cardiovascular disease. Disease processes will be presented with specific reference to its etiology, pathology, and current medical management. In addition, the course accentuates different levels of impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities for various cardiovascular conditions.
Evaluation strategies, organized clinical decision making and effective treatment techniques will be emphasized. Clinicians are challenged to integrate and synthesize physiological and clinical principles in decision making and development of appropriate plans of care.

Contact Hours

Duration: 13 hours

Course Objectives

  • Describe the normal anatomy and physiology of the cardiovascular system as it applies to physical therapy patient management 
  • Discuss the medical and physical therapy management of patients diagnosed with hypertension and ischemic heart disease specifically acute coronary syndrome
  • Identify the disease process including the definition, etiology, pathophysiology, clinical presentation, and clinical course of congestive heart failure
  • Analyze a given atrial or ventricular rhythm strip in a systematic manner
  • Review the effects and uses of various pharmacological interventions for patients with cardiovascular dysfunction
  • Select, demonstrate, and provide rationale for utilization of various examination techniques for patients with heart disease in an effort to establish a PT/OT diagnosis, prognosis, and plan of care
  • Evaluate various objective data including but not limited to analyzing heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate and pattern, heart and lung auscultation, posture and RPE score
  • Identify the goals and outcomes of cardiovascular rehabilitation
  • Develop, design, and describe the rationale and physiologic effects of various treatment techniques in managing patients with cardiovascular pathology
  • Collaborate with classmates in analyzing and interpreting patient data in a given cardiac case study to enhance decision making in clinical practice

Course Agenda


7:30 AM Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:00 AM Cardiovascular Structure and Function: Heart tissues, heart chambers and valves, coronary circulation, and electric conduction, physiological responses to aerobic exercise.
8:55 AM Break
9:00 AM Hypertension: Incidence, etiology, medical management, physical therapy management (Video and lecture)
10:55 AM Break
11:00 AM Acute Coronary Syndrome Continued
12:15 PM LUNCH (on your own)
2:30 p.m. BREAK
1:00 PM Congestive Heart Failure: Incidence, etiology, pathophysiology, medical management, physical therapy evaluation and treatment strategies.
2:55 PM Break
3:00 PM Understanding Cardiovascular Pharmacology (Drug therapy for ischemic heart disease, congestive heart failure, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, arrhythmias.
4:05 PM Adjourn


8:00 AM Interpretation of Atrial and Ventricular Dysrhythmias
10:45 AM Break
11:00 AM Cardiovascular Assessment: Demonstration and Practice
12:15 PM LUNCH (on your own)
1:00 PM Management of patients with Cardiovascular Dysfunction: Case Studies, EKG Workshop and Discussion
2:30 PM Summary
3:00 PM Adjourn

Upcoming Classes

Charlotte, NCOctober 3 - 4, 2015
Registration Deadline : September 30, 2015