Cardiopulmonary Assessment for the Home Health PTA

This course is one of five foundational, or “core”, courses in the Advanced Competency in Home Health program for the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA). This course is not applicable to Physical Therapists in the Advanced Competency in Home Health program. This course, along with three other core courses, is a pre-requisite for the PTA Advanced Competency in Home Health live learning course. Enrollment in the Advanced Competency program is not required to participate in or receive credit for this course.

Learn more about the Advanced Competency.


This foundational course for the physical therapist assistant (PTA) practicing in the home care setting focuses on a review of the key components and parameters for measuring vital signs and identifying red flag warning in these signs prior to and during physical therapy. Dr. Shaw provides a review of each vital sign, proper measurement techniques, related guidelines, and areas of concern based upon measurements. The course includes a comprehensive cardiopulmonary overview as cardiac issues are a key factor in determining when patients should start and stop exercise.

Meet our Presenter:

Donald K. Shaw, PT, PhD, D.Min., Fellow of the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. Donald K. Shaw, PhD, PT, is a Professor in the Physical Therapy Program at Franklin Pierce University - Arizona Campus. Prior to his present position, Dr. Shaw was a Professor of Physical Therapy at Nova Southeastern University and at Midwestern University. In 2002, he joined the physical therapy faculty at Texas State University and developed their Telehealth Program. His academic career began at East Carolina University where he was an Associate Professor in the Physical Therapy Department. Clinically, he served as Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation at Saint Thomas Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee and as Adjunct Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University.

Dr. Shaw received his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Physical Education from George Williams College in Chicago, Illinois; his doctorate in Exercise Physiology from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. He received his Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. Most recently, he completed his D.Min. degree in Christian Apologetics at Southern Evangelical Seminary in Matthews, North Carolina.

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Course Code:




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Completion Instructions

Review recorded content; complete assessment with at least a 70% score; provide feedback; claim certificate

Course level


Date published


Date recorded


Delivery method



Donald Shaw, PT, DPT, PhD

Learning objectives

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  1. Identify common mistakes made in vital signs measurement
  2. List exercise initiation and termination criteria
  3. Discuss select cardiopulmonary mechanisms affecting treatment
  4. Recognize select “red flags” that may manifest prior to and during physical therapy


Home Health Section

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Type:E-Learning Course
Credit Categories
Domains:Home Health, Cardiac Conditions, PTA, Don Shaw, CVP
Available discounts:
  • Non Member
    (until 12/31/2030)
  • Member
    (until 12/31/2030)
  • Home Health
    (until 12/31/2030)
* Prices in US Dollar