REHA 3001 Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 400984

Coordinator Rocco Cavaleri Opens in new window

Description This subject builds on the knowledge and skills developed in the first 2.5 years of physiotherapy study. This subject focuses on client assessment and evidence based management in acute cardiorespiratory physiotherapy contexts. Students will extend and advance the knowledge, competencies and skills in cardiorespiratory physiotherapy clinical reasoning including assessment, interpretation and prioritisation of findings, synthesis of complex information along with the implementation and evaluation of appropriate treatment strategies. This framework will also be applied to the management of patients in Intensive Care, where students will develop specialist knowledge and skills in cardiorespiratory assessment and treatment of acutely ill unstable patients with cardiorespiratory failure and complex comorbidities. This will require strong communication skills, ethical and professional behaviour and an appreciation of interprofessional care required in acute clinical scenarios including intensive care subjects.

School Health Sciences

Discipline Physiotherapy

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 2 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 3 subject

Pre-requisite(s) REHA 3003 AND
REHA 3009


Students must be enrolled in 4662 Bachelor of Health Science/Master of Physiotherapy, 4706 Bachelor of Physiotherapy or 4707, Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours) or 4733 Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours).

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Develop a depth of knowledge and understanding of the interaction of complex cardiorespiratory diseases and medical management (including invasive respiratory, cardiovascular and medical support)
  2. Identify patient disability as a result of cardiorespiratory disease and advance medical management
  3. Conduct an advanced assessment of history taking and physical examination
  4. Synthesise complex assessment information, using clinical reasoning and patient-centred approaches: a) to develop and justify an individualised prioritised problem list and treatment plan; b) to implement and critically evaluate the management plan; c) monitor, modify and progress treatment(s) as indicated for acutely ill, unstable clients with complex presentations and or cardiorespiratory failure with and without multi-system co-morbidities
  5. Demonstrate safe work practices
  6. Demonstrate effective verbal and written communication skills to effectively communicate with clients, peers and academic staff in physiotherapy contexts

Subject Content

Within an acute complex cardiorespiratory physiotherapy context:
1. Select and interpret findings from history taking and advanced cardiac, cardiovascular and respiratory investigations
2. Interpret and synthesise the findings of objective assessments including acute invasive haemodynamic, neurological and respiratory assessment and monitoring (including CVP, PAP, PAOP, ICP, arterial blood gases, respiratory mechanics and work of breathing measures) and other metabolic parameters
3. Demonstrate advanced clinical reasoning skills of interpretation, synthesis and analysis of findings, prioritisation of patients problems and development of treatment plan for acutely ill unstable patients with cardiorespiratory disorders or failure and complex comorbidities
4. Formulate and justify appropriate evidence-based management techniques to reverse or prevent impairments of decreased O2, CO2, and secretion movement and cardiovascular endurance in these patients (including those with respiratory failure requiring assisted ventilation)
5. Select and justify the monitoring, evaluation and progression of management techniques as appropriate
6. Integration of physiotherapy knowledge with the theory of professionalism, ethics, safe work practices and interprofessional communication (clinical reasoning) to plan management strategies for patients with acute complex presentation.


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Practical Exam 30 mins 35 N Individual
Quiz 20 Minutes 10 Y Individual
Practical Exam 20 Minutes 25 Y Individual
Final Exam 2 hours 30 Y Individual

Teaching Periods

Spring (2023)



Subject Contact Rocco Cavaleri Opens in new window

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Spring (2024)



Subject Contact Rocco Cavaleri Opens in new window

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