Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning
assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the
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What systems should be reviewed when conducting a pediatric review of systems and screening for signs and symptoms? How does the history help to prioritize the physical examination, including inspection and palpation? This course describes evidence for conducting a review of systems in children and screening for signs and symptoms. The pediatric therapist should be able to organize findings to support the best intervention strategies, identify findings that should be shared with other professionals to ensure optimal care and outcomes, AND recognize findings that are outside the scope of the therapist’s knowledge, experience, or expertise and require a referral to an appropriate practitioner.
Dr. Lovelace-Chandler has been an educator in pediatric topics for over 30 years to professional and post-professional physical therapy students. She has over 40 years of experience in pediatrics, has recertified as a specialist two times, and still carries a small caseload. She taught numerous Advanced Clinical Practice courses in pediatrics for the APTA, has…
1. Screening Systems and Conducting a Physical Examination
Therapists rarely need to conduct an extensive physical examination, but they should be able to use the history to prioritize screening of systems. Even systems assumed not to be related to impairments should be quickly screened to eliminate the presence of comorbidities that might impede a successful response to interventions. This chapter describes a quick review of each of the systems to be included in the initial examination and assessment.
2. Using Signs, Symptoms, and Flags for Decision Making
This chapter will define important terms for the screening process: signs, symptoms, and yellow and red flags. The chapter also discusses factors that indicate a finding should be a red flag that suggests a referral.
3. Establishing a Plan of Care Within the Scope of Practice
Pediatric therapists use the history, screening, and physical examination processes and other tests and measures to establish a plan of care. The traditional examination and assessment process will be briefly reviewed to illustrate how history taking, screening, and physical examination activities inform the process.
How can a therapist systematically gather information and data, from both the past and the present, related to why the family is seeking services? This course suggests the sources used to gather information for the history, provides some typical information to gather at different ages, and demonstrates taking a history from the family of a young child.
How early should a child be placed in standing or encouraged to take steps? When should a child who is non-ambulatory be given a motorized car? All therapists working in pediatrics need to meet the developmental, postural, and movement needs of young children. This course provides the evidence-based interventions to foster upright postures, standing, and walking, when possible, and the use of other forms of independent mobility, including motorized devices, when the child is not starting to walk. All interventions utilize concepts of child motivation and interaction with the environment for cognitive growth, communication, and participation with family members and peers.
Why do therapists practicing in pediatrics need to take a patient history? Why do they need to screen systems and recognize the signs and symptoms that indicate the need for a medical or health care practitioner referral? This introductory course is designed to enhance the skills of therapists working with children in conducting selected portions of an examination which include taking a history, quickly screening systems, addressing health promotion, and recognizing the signs and symptoms that indicate the need for a referral to another health practitioner. Screening might be needed at any time when a patient suddenly presents with a new sign or symptom.