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Screening and Physical Examination for Signs and Symptoms in Pediatric Patients

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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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.

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. 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.

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