Essentials of Critical Care Orientation:
An Introduction to Critical Care


Care of the Patient with Cardiovascular Disorders:

Module Outline

Lesson I: Anatomy, Physiology and Assessment
Section A: Cardiovascular Anatomy and Physiology
Section B: Cardiovascular Assessment
Section C: Diagnostic Procedures for the Cardiovascular System

Lesson II: Cardiovascular Monitoring
Section A: Basic Dysrhythmia Interpretation
Section B: Hemodynamics

Lesson III: Cardiovascular Diseases
Section A: Acute Coronary Syndrome / MI
Section B: Heart Failure and Pulmonary Edema
Section C: Cardiomyopathy
Section D: Valvular Disease

Lesson IV: Invasive Procedures
Section A: Coronary Arteriography, Cardiac Catheterization, and Percutaneous Coronary Interventions (PCI)
Section B: Pacemakers
Section C: Cardiac Surgery (CABG)

Module Objectives

At the completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Describe the structures and functions of the components of the cardiac system.
  • Discuss the physiological principles of circulation and the neurohormonal control of circulation.
  • Compare and contrast the low versus high pressured chambers of the heart.
  • Describe the tracts of the electrical conduction of the heart.
  • Compare and contrast the arterial and venous systems.
  • Describe how stroke volume is determined.
  • Compare and contrast preload and afterload and how they affect cardiac output.
  • Describe the neurohormonal controls of the cardiovascular system.
  • Name the 4 "P's" of arterial occlusion.
  • Describe the proper technique for assessing orthostatic blood pressures and pulses and discuss the implications.
  • Describe the different tests for assessing the cardiovascular system and their implications.
  • Define the cardiac cell characteristics including automaticity, excitability, conductivity and contractility.
  • Compare and contrast the phases of the action potentials of cardiac tissue.
  • Describe the proper electrode placement for the different leads for cardiac monitoring.
  • Define the ECG waveforms and describe the normal values for the P wave, QRS complex, and the ST segment of the ECG complex.
  • Describe the proper level of the transducer for hemodynamic monitoring.
  • State the importance of the fast flush square-wave test when performing hemodynamic monitoring.
  • Describe an Allen's test and state how and why an Allen's test is performed.
  • Label the components of the arterial waveform and describe the significance of each wave.
  • Define how the blood pressure is produced and what affects blood pressure.
  • Compare and contrast the pertinent pathophysiology of angina and myocardial infarction.
  • Identify risk factors associated with atherosclerotic coronary artery disease.
  • Describe the subjective and objective finding as well as the management of angina and myocardial infarction.
  • Identify and discuss the relationship between the pathophysiology, clinical manifestations and collaborative management of patients with heart failure and with pulmonary edema.
  • Compare and contrast dilated, hypertrophic and restrictive cardiomyopathy including the pathophysiology, hemodynamics and treatment.
  • Compare and contrast the different types of valvular disease, their causes and their clinical manifestations.
  • Describe how to manipulate preload and afterload to improve cardiac output.
  • Describe the indications for a cardiac catheterization and the potential complications associated with a cardiac catheterization.
  • State the indications for stent placement.
  • Discuss the type and components of temporary and permanent pacemakers.
  • Define the indications for temporary and permanent pacemakers, potential problems and treatment of problems related to pacing.
  • Discuss the different types of cardiac surgery and their indications.

Sample Modular Slides


















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