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Principles of Taking a History and Screening Systems in Young Children

presented by Venita Lovelace-Chandler, PT, PHD, PCS

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Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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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.

Meet Your Instructor

Venita Lovelace-Chandler, PT, PHD, PCS

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…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. The Importance of History Taking and Screening Pediatric Patients

Therapists practicing in pediatrics are expected to be able to determine if a patient should receive therapy or be referred to another practitioner in addition to or instead of receiving services from the therapist. That determination requires an understanding of scope of practice and professional standards.

2. Best Practice in Pediatric History Taking

Children present with clinical manifestations unique to the pediatric population, and techniques for assessment and examination differ as well. This chapter provides therapists with best practice concepts in taking a history, including family-centered care.

3. Screening Systems for Signs, Symptoms, and Red Flags

Screening of systems follows the taking of a history, and the goal of screening is to recognize the need for referral to a physician or other practitioner as quickly as possible for best patient outcomes. Therapists need to identify signs, symptoms and flags while rapidly screening the following systems: neurological, musculoskeletal, cardiopulmonary, gastrointestinal, integumentary, and urogenital. Examples of red flags are offered and explained.

4. Health Promotion and Anticipatory Guidance

While taking the history, the therapist also identifies health restoration and prevention needs and coexisting health problems that may have implications for intervention. Therapists are able to provide consultation time to discuss current, pertinent health issues, to anticipate any preventative information the family should know in the near future, and to suggest physical activities to promote health.

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