Pharmacology for the Home Health Physical Therapist

This is one of 5 online modules which comprise the Advanced Competency in Home Health. Click here to view the full course.

The Advanced Competency is awarded only when all you complete all 5 core modules, the in-person 2-day course, and several online elective courses within 18 months of start date. NOTE: Enrollment in the full program is not required to take this online course.

Learn more about the Advanced Competency.

Course Description

Medication review, reconciliation, and patient education are critical components in the practice of physical therapy in the home health setting. This 5 hour course focuses on understanding high risk medications for select cardiac, vascular, pulmonary, musculoskeletal, nervous and endocrine disorders. A brief review of the pathology relevant to understanding the mechanism of action of the various medication classes will be presented as well as a relevant side effects and implications for the physical therapist treating the older adult.

Meet the Presenter:

Melissa Bednarek, PT, DPT, PhD, board-certified clinical specialist in cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy. Dr. Bednarek received her Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Biology and Psychology from St. Bonaventure University, followed by a Master of Physical Therapy from MCP Hahnemann University. Following four years of acute care experience, she returned to graduate school to complete a PhD in Physiology at Virginia Commonwealth University. Upon completion in 2009, she joined the faculty in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA, where she is currently an Associate Professor. Dr. Bednarek teaches exercise physiology, cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy and the pharmacology thread in the curriculum. To enhance her teaching, she has continued to practice in outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation and home health and became a Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy in 2014.

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Course Code:




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Completion Instructions

First, review the recorded course presentation.

Second, click on "assessment" in the green menu bar on the right to compelte the graded assessment. You must complete it with a minimum of 70% score.

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Melissa Bednarek, PT, DPT, PhD, board-certified clinical specialist in cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy

Learning objectives

  1. Define polypharmacy and evaluate the implications of polypharmacy in the older adult.
  2. Develop strategies to address barriers to medication reconciliation in home health.
  3. Explain appropriate use of tools available to help with medication prescription in the older adult.
  4. Explain the relevance of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics to medication dosing in the older adult.
  5. Identify the indications for various pharmacologic agents commonly used in older adult based on the pathophysiology of the disease.
  6. Predict the side effects of various pharmacological agents commonly used in the older adult and how they relate to physical therapy treatment.
  7. Illustrate the importance of medication interactions with dietary supplements.
  8. Analyze how knowledge of a patient’s medications will enhance the practice of home health physical therapy.


Home Health Section

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Type:E-Learning Course
Credit Categories
Domains:Home Health, medications, Melissa Bednarek, pharmacology
Available discounts:
  • Non Member
    (until 12/31/2030)
  • Member
    (until 12/31/2030)
  • Home Health
    (until 12/31/2030)
* Prices in US Dollar