Treating Medically Complex Cardiovascular

and Lymphatic Patients: An Evidence Based and Patient Centric Approach."

CHF Course Description

This course will explore the importance of incorporating objective and an evidence-based
approach to treating the complex patient. Multisystemic disorders especially in cardiovascular,
pulmonary, lymphatic and transplant population will be discussed. Pathophysiological
mechanisms and differential diagnosis will be explained to assist clinicians to explore all aspects of International

Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) framework. This course will also utilize best functional testing,

assessment, and outcome measures of medically complex patient management. Various case study analyses

throughout this course will assist the clinician in rehabilitation clinical decision-making in an interdisciplinary team environment.

Duration / CE Time:
6.5 hours

Course outline

1. Clinical implications of medically complex patients
(1.5 hours)
 Physical assessment in a screening examination
 Differential diagnosis of confusion, edema, and leg ulcers
 Pathophysiology and rehabilitation interventions of heart and lung disorders.
o Case study analysis- Cardiopulmonary disorders
 Management of complex patients including those awaiting organ transplants
o Heart transplant, lung transplant and VAD populations.
o Case study analysis: Transplant population.


2. Challenges in mobilizing medically complex patient
(2 hours)
 Complexity of mobilizing high acuity patients
a. Indications/contraindications of mobilizing patients in high acuity patients
 Medical-surgical equipment in high-acuity settings
a. Mobilizing the patient on the different oxygen systems.
 Overcoming challenges faced in a high acuity setting to promote mobilization
 Case-study analysis: mobilizing high acuity patients


3. The cardiovascular lymphatic system (1 hour)
 Lymphatic vessels and their role in treating various medically complex patient
 Recent advances in lymphedema management - applications to rehabilitation
 Research update: linking the cardiovascular and lymphatic systems

4. Outcome measures
(1 hour)
 Why are outcome measures important for PT and OT rehabilitation management?
 Review of common outcome tests used for complex patients
 Choosing the appropriate outcome measures
 Exploring available resources


5. Case study application of the complex patient (1 hour)


Dr. Vatwani is an Associate Professor in the Physical Therapy department at Nova Southeastern University (NSU). Prior to her academic position, for a decade, she worked as an acute care physical therapist with a clinical expertise in cardiovascular and pulmonary high-acuity patients at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD. She has held many service leadership positions
including the NSU Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Healthcare Sciences founding chair of the diversity and inclusion faculty committee and the founding co-chair of the Physical Therapy department cultural competence task force. At the state and professional level, she served as the founding co-chair of the Florida Physical Therapy Association Acute Care Special Interest group. She is a certified lymphedema and wound Care therapist (CLWT), certified lean six sigma black belt (CLSSBB), certified project management professional (PMP), National Diversity Council certified
diversity professional and certified in diversity, equity, and inclusion at the workplace. Her primary research interests include cultural competence in healthcare and academia, interprofessional education and practice, simulation-based teaching/learning, healthcare education, physical therapy practice, and management specifically in the acute care and cardiovascular and pulmonary fields. She has authored several peer-reviewed articles, abstracts, and presentations. Dr. Vatwani will soon be graduating with her terminal degree, an Education and Leadership in Healthcare Doctorate (EdD) in July 2022. She is the recipient of the 2022 Healthcare Diversity Leader Award from the National Diversity Council and a member of the Alpha Eta Honor Society.

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