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Screening for Medical Referral and Differential Diagnosis Seminar


Course Description:
An essential part of a rehab professional's toolbox is having the knowledge to recognize specific signs and symptoms that are not appropriate for treatment. Physical Therapists in particular will learn many of the common yellow and red flags that will trigger a referral back to the referring physician. Due to advancing levels of responsibility and privileges that therapists are granted today, it is not surprising that there is a potential for more lawsuits aimed at finding therapists "negligent" or "having practiced below the normal standard of care" when they miss the important signs. Consider the therapist who treats a patient for low back pain for four weeks without improvement, who later discovers that she has an ovarian cyst. Or consider the therapist who can't link vertigo, ataxia, and diplopia together as possible s/s consistent with Arnold-Chiari malformation. Will you be ready to connect the dots that will help you recognize the signs and symptoms of a patient with a ballooning abdominal aorta that is just about to rupture?

This course is appropriate for both the beginning and intermediate level therapist and is taught by a practicing physical therapist. The material presented will have clinical relevance across the entire continuum of care. This course will include patient case studies that have been carefully selected by the instructor, Patrick A. Tino, in an effort to highlight specific clinically-relevant points of the history-taking and physical evaluation.

Learner Objectives:
At the completion of this program, you will be able to:

1.Identify relevant problems discovered during the initial history-taking and physical examination by conducting a Review of Systems.
2.Compare and contrast the terms 'Differential Diagnosis' and 'Screening' and describe what they mean during your examination.
3.Determine whether 'Subjective' reports correlate with 'Objective' findings.
4.Explain how and why systemic disease can be disguised as musculoskeletal problems.
5.Differentiate between true vestibular and non-vestibular pathology when trying to accurately identify the etiology of dizziness and vertigo.
6.Identify and explain normal and abnormal cardiopulmonary function when it becomes a co-morbidity in 80% of your caseload.
7.Recognize the signs and symptoms of a patient who may need a Neuropsychiatric referral.
8.Determine normal and abnormal routine lab values and diagnostic test results.
9.Explain the differences in 'scope of practice' of your medical and healthcare colleagues.
10.Analyze the pathophysiology of the organs and various tissue types to differentiate between a patient you should evaluate and treat versus a patient you shoulder refer back to the physician.
11.Explain the manifestations of the major organ-related diseases that healthcare practitioners typically encounter during patient care.