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Pharmacology Implications for the Therapist

Course Description

This course is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the neurophysiologic mechanisms of medications as they apply to physical, occupational, and speech therapy practice. Particular attention is addressed to medication interaction with therapy interventions including but not limited to exercise and joint mobilization or manipulation. Medication interaction with tissue healing, and medication interactions with other medications or naturopathic remedies are reviewed. Typical medication for patient populations seen in various therapy environments are addressed, as well as how medication may interfere with typical tests and measures to assist in development of appropriate therapy interventions. Therapists do not prescribe medications and this course is not intended to suggest extensive knowledge in pharmacology.

Learning Objectives

  • By completing this course you will be able to:
  1. Understand medication effects on tissue healing and systems function.
  2. Identify medications that require alteration in therapy intervention.
  3. Design treatment intervention that acknowledges medication interactions.
  4. Identify “red flags” detected during a systems review or examination that warrant referral to another health care provider.
  5. Explain the effects of medication on exercise, activity, and participation.
  6. Explain the exercise/activity-related contraindications and precautions for each of the major classifications of medications.
  7. Collaborate with other health care professionals to design appropriate courses of treatment for individuals on medication.


Dr. Karin Steere teaches courses in cardiopulmonary physical therapy, basic PT skills, pharmacology, orthopedics, and PT for the performing artist. She is a certified manual therapist and certified clinical instructor. She has been published in peer-reviewed journals, and she has presented nationally and internationally. Her research interests include pain neuroscience and biomechanics surrounding professional and amateur performing artists. She is currently pursuing her PhD in the neurobiology of pain.

B.A. State University of New York at Buffalo 1999
CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist), NSCA, 2004
DPT, University of Puget Sound, 2009
MTC (Certified Manual Therapist), University of St. Augustine, 2011
Joined Puget Sound Faculty in 2012


  • Providence/Swedish Employees- $100
  • Non-Providence/Swedish Employees- $200

Course Information

  • October 22, 2016, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • 8 Contact Hours
  • Appropriate Audience: PT, PTA, OTR, COTA, SLP
  • Providence St. Peter Hospital
    410 Lilly Rd NE
    Room 200
    Olympia, WA 98506


David Howell, OTR/L, Rehab Education Manager

Registration Instructions:

Register Online or contact David Howell at david.howell@providence.org