Presenters will share a clinical guide for vital sign considerations in acute and post-acute care physical therapy practice, as developed by APTA Acute Care and the APTA Academy of Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Physical Therapy. Presenters will discuss vital signs as an element of risk management, via risk ladder. Risk ladders show a range of risks (probability of events) from low to high, within the context of an individual risk. For vital signs, risk is related to probability of fatal or near fatal event, e.g., cardiovascular event, used in aggregate with other factors, such as comorbid chronic conditions and health behaviors. Risk for an imminent event differs across practice settings. By nature of a patient’s ability to ambulate independently with a normal gait speed for community distances, as typically occurs in outpatient practice, overall outpatient risk contrasts greatly to the imminent risk level of a critically ill patient in an ICU. Clinical considerations for vital signs will include information related to pharmacology, critical care, cardiopulmonary disease, oncology and neurological conditions. Participants will receive a downloadable version of the new Adult Vital Sign Interpretation in Acute Care 2021 document as part of this course.

Meet our presenters

Angela Abeyta Campbell, PT, DPT (Springfield College)

Speaker Bio: Dr. Angela Campbell received her DPT from Creighton University in 1996 and ABPTS Board Certification as a Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Clinical Specialist in 2001 (re-credentialled, 2011). Dr. Campbell, APTA member since 1993, is the current President of the APTA Academy of Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Physical Therapy and was the primary developer of the PACER Project for COVID-19 education. She is an ABPTS Clinical Content Expert, mentoring/writing for the specialist exam and contributor to the recently revised CVP Description of Specialty Practice. Dr. Campbell is a manuscript reviewer for Physiotherapy Theory and Practice and the Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy Journal. Dr. Campbell has been the Advocacy/Legislative Chair, Federal Affairs Liaison, and Nominating Committee Chair for the CVP Section. She has been member of the APTA Credentialing Committee of the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency & Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE). Dr. Campbell is also a member of APTA Acute Care and the Academy of Physical Therapy Education. She has presented nationally at various conferences. Clinically, Dr. Campbell has worked at multiple academic medical centers, in both inpatient and outpatient capacities, including University of North Carolina Hospitals, Hartford Hospital, Gaylord Rehabilitation Hospital, University of Connecticut Health Center, and University of Arkansas Medical Sciences Center. She was the outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation program director for UNC Hospitals, serving on the cystic fibrosis and lung transplant care teams. She was a Senior Inpatient Cardiopulmonary Therapist, coordinating care and staff development in acute and critical care of persons with cardiac and pulmonary disorders.

Ann Fick, PT, DPT, MS (Maryville University)

Speaker Bio: Dr. Ann Fick, PT, DPT is an Associate Professor and Director of Clinical Education at Maryville University. She has been a Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Specialist since 1996. Dr. Fick educates students in the cardiovascular and pulmonary, capstone and clinical education components of the curriculum. She is a member of the APTA Academy of Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Physical Therapy and the Academies of Acute Care and Education. She is a member of the Academy of Acute Care Physical Therapy Practice Committee and the Nominating Committee for the Academy of Education. Dr. Fick has more than 30 years of experience and continues to practice at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. She is an author and presenter in the area of cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy with research activities focusing in the acute care setting.

Ethel Maureen Frese, PT, DPT, FAPTA (Saint Louis University)

Speaker Bio: Dr. Ethel Frese is a Professor in the Program in Physical Therapy at St. Louis University Doisy College of Health Sciences. Dr. Frese also serves as an adjunct instructor in the Program of Physical Therapy at Washington University School of Medicine, the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center and Meramec Community College Physical Therapist Assistant Program. Courses that Dr. Frese has taught include: Exercise Physiology, Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Conditions, Therapeutic Exercise, and Topics in Applied Clinical Science. Dr. Frese is a board-certified specialist in Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy, and an experienced clinician in the areas of acute care, rehabilitation, and home health. Dr. Frese has published research, as well as numerous poster presentations, on various cardiopulmonary, geriatric, and exercise physiology topics. Her research has appeared in the APTA scientific journals Physical Therapy and Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy. In 2017, she was named a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association, one of the highest honors an individual can receive from the APTA.

Kimberly Moore Levenhagen, PT, DPT (Saint Louis University)

Speaker Bio: Speaker Bio: Dr. Kim Levenhagen PT, DPT, WCC, CLT, FNAP is an associate professor at Saint Louis University. She teaches the acute care curriculum, Communication Processes, and Interprofessional Team Seminar. Dr. Levenhagen is an APTA Credentialed Clinical Instructor and Credentialed Advanced Clinical Instructor. She is a member of the Academies of Acute Care and Clinical Electrophysiology and Wound Management, and Oncologic Physical Therapy. She is a member of the Academy of Acute Care Physical Therapy Practice Committee and the Nominating Committee. She has Wound Care Certification and is a Certified Lymphedema Therapist as well as extensive clinical experience in acute care. She has published in the areas of infection control, HIV, lymphedema, wound care and education. She serves on the clinical practice guideline for upper quadrant lymphedema. Dr. Levenhagen received Excellence in Classroom Teaching for the Doisy College of Health Sciences in 2013, the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award in 2014, the Avis Meyer Excellence in Advising award in 2015, the James Korn Award for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in 2018 and the Phil Lyons Outstanding Staff Award in 2018.

Morgan E. Lopker, PT, DPT (Los Robles Regional Medical Center)

Speaker Bio: Dr. Morgan Lopker PT, DPT is a Senior Physical Therapist, Critical Care and Education Lead at Los Robles Regional Medical Center in Southern California. She has experience throughout Acute Care practice areas with an emphasis in the Critical Care management of the Neurologic, Cardiopulmonary and Trauma patient populations. Research, publication and presentation contributions in Acute Care and Neurologic Physical Therapy. Dr Lopker is the Chair of the Academy of Acute Care Physical Therapy Practice Committee and a member of the Acute care and Neurology Academies and the APTA Academy of Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Physical Therapy. She is an APTA Credentialed Clinical Instructor and Neuro-IFRAH Certified Physical Therapist.

Traci Lynn Norris, PT, DPT (Barnes-Jewish Hospital)

Speaker Bio: Dr. Traci Norris, PT, DPT is the current APTA Acute Care President and a physical therapist and Rehabilitation Clinical Specialist for evidence based practice and clinical practice change at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in Saint Louis, Missouri. She has been responsible for leading groups and initiatives around evidence-based practice and best practice initiatives at her facility. She is a board-certified geriatric clinical specialist and is chair of the Practice Committee for the APTA Acute Care. She has presented locally and nationally on areas including acute care physical therapy, evidence-based practice, frailty, geriatrics, and early mobilization.

Ashley Poole, PT, DPT (Duke University)

Speaker Bio: Dr. Ashley Poole, PT, DPT, is an Assistant Professor at Duke University and Assistant Director of Clinical Education in the Division of Physical Therapy. She is the 2021 APTA Centennial Scholar for the APTA Academy of Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Physical Therapy. She is a board-certified clinical specialist in cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy with specific expertise in the care and management of patients with cardiovascular disorders, especially for patients who are medically complex or in critical care. She is an APTA advanced credentialed clinical instructor and an APTA credentialed clinical trainer. Dr. Poole has a passion for educating students and clinical instructors and her goal is to inspire innovative models of clinical education that bridge the gap from classroom to clinic.

Course Code:


Completion Instructions

Review contents, complete assessment with at least a 70% score, download and save certificate

Course level


Delivery method



Angela Campbell, PT, DPT; Traci Norris, PT, DPT

Learning objectives

  1. Discuss the concept of a risk ladder in clinical decision-making and recognize the role of vital signs as a factor in risk assessment
  2. Describe how acute illness or injury, and other factors, influence vital signs and impact an individual’s acute event risk
  3. Understand the development process used in the creation of a clinical guide for vital sign considerations in acute and post-acute physical therapy practice
  4. Be able to use the guide to obtain the necessary information for clinical decision-making
  5. Synthesize vital signs considerations as they apply to acute and post-acute populations specific to areas such as: cardiopulmonary disease, medications, neurological and oncological conditions, and critical illness


  • Academy of Acute Care Physical Therapy
  • Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Section

Brought to you by


1CSM Vital Sign Presentation FINAL (1).mp4
Type:E-Learning Course
Credit Categories

The following credits are available upon completion of these activities.

Total credits:  0.2
Key Dates
Enrollment:Prior to  06/29/2022
Available discounts:
  • Acute Care Members
  • CVP Members
  • Students
  • APTA Member
* Prices in US Dollars