Home Health Clinical Assessment

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

There are 3 parts to this module and all 3 must be completed in order to obtain the CEUs and certificate.

This module is one of the pre-requisites to the in-person course scheduled at various times throughout the year. 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.


This 5-hour course consists of three component presentations that prepare physical therapists for performing a comprehensive patient assessment in the home health practice setting. The three components are: cardio-pulmonary, musculoskeletal, and a consolidation section covering health and contextual issues not covered in the first two components- e.g. environmental issues, sensory systems, etc. This course orients the home health physical therapist to evidenced based practice tools for these assessments, identification of symptoms or collections of symptoms that might warrant additional referral, patient monitoring, or influence treatment protocols.


Christine Childers, PT, MS, Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Geriatric Physical Therapy. Chris Childers received her Bachelor’s degree in Physiotherapy from the University of East Anglia, England. In 1998 she moved, with her husband then serving in the USAF, to Utah where she became licensed to practice in the US. During their 8 years in SLC, Utah Chris practiced in the skilled nursing arena and in 2005 she gained her MS in Gerontology from the University of Utah the same year she became a board certified Geriatric Clinical Specialist. In 2006 she moved to California, again working in the skilled nursing arena until she transitioned into the academic setting in 2012, working as an assistant professor for the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. Teaching full time she maintains her clinical skills through home health visits. Chris is currently serving on the Geriatric specialty council of the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialist, is a content expert for the specialty examination and is working on her PhD in Health Psychology from Walden University.

Nicholas J Panaro, PT, DPT, board-certified clinical specialist in geriatric physical therapy. Dr. Panaro has been a licensed Physical therapist since 2003 upon graduation from Saint Francis University in Loretto, PA with a Masters in Physical Therapy. In December 2015 Dr. Panaro completed his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Temple University. Earlier in 2015 Dr. Panaro became a Board Certified Geriatric Clinical Specialist (GCS) through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. Dr Panaro has been practicing in Home Health for 10 years as an employee of UPMC Home Nursing Agency.

As a home health physical therapist Dr Panaro has been active in Same Day Joint Replacement Protocol initiated by his Agency as well as participated in data collection for CMS CJR program since 2014. Dr. Panaro also has advanced certifications as both a Performance Enhancement Specialist (PES) and Senior Fitness Specialist( SFS) from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). In 2004, Dr Panaro co-founded Sports Evolution, LLC providing performance enhancement programming for young athletes ages 8 and up using evidence based training techniques and program design while emphasizing proper movement patterns and injury prevention.

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.

Course Code:




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Completion Instructions

First, review the recorded course presentation.

Second, complete the knowledge check for each part. Then click on "assessment" in the green menu bar on the right to complete the graded assessment. You must complete it with a minimum of 70% score.

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Delivery method



Donald Shaw, PT, PhD

Learning objectives

Cardio-pulmonary part:

  • Identify common mistakes in obtaining vital signs
  • List exercise initiation and termination criteria
  • Describe the difference between systolic and diastolic heart failure
  • Define the features of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Recognize select treatment “red flags” prior to and during therapy
  • Appreciate new monitoring technologies available for home health use

Musculoskeletal part:

  • Be able to identify essential components of a proper Home Health referral
  • Demonstrating through clinically relevant questions the ability to utilize the Internal Classification of Function & Health (ICF) Model of Disablement in the need for PT skilled services
  • Be able to distinguish between local and remote pathology via the use of screens and clinical reasoning
  • Be able to identify the appropriate Test & Measures based on patient presentation
  • Understand the role Clinical Practice Rules (CPR) and Clinical Test Clusters can have in patient diagnoses and Plan of Treatment (POT) development

Evaluation and Assessment Consolidation:

  • Know the rudiments of performing assessment screens of the sensory and nervous systems and how it may impact the patient outcomes.
  • Identify the impact of the following environmental and personal factors: condition of the patient’s home, and patient’s cognitive/emotional status.
  • Identify at least 3 factors which may impact the patient’s compliance with their treatment regimen.


Home Health Section

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1Home Health Advanced Competency - Clinical Assessment
2Assessment_Clinical Assessment
Type:E-Learning Course
Credit Categories
Domains:Home Health, Donald Shaw, Nick Panaro, Chris Childers, cardio, MSK
Available discounts:
  • Non Member
    (until 12/31/2030)
  • Member
    (until 12/31/2030)
  • Home Health
    (until 12/31/2030)
* Prices in US Dollar