Pave the Way to Success on the Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Specialty (CCS) Exam

  • Successful course completion is based on attendance and participation in all lecture/labs
  • See registration section of this website for upcoming dates near you
  • Don’t see a date or location that is convenient, contact to host this course at your facility


Course Description:

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) established the specialist certification program in 1978. As of June 2016, there were 20,144 Board Certified Specialists. Of these, 254 are certified Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Specialists. Every year, individuals hoping to take the CCS seek assistance in examination preparation. Due to conflict of interest, the ABPTS and the Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Section of the APTA are unable to provide comprehensive advice and instruction for the best way to prepare for this exam. Thus, there are very few resources available for these individuals and many people postpone the process of specialization. This course intends to demystify the process of preparing for this exam. We will cover the most prevalent topics on the exam in the depth of knowledge required for successfully passing the examination.

Level of Education: Advanced

Course Objectives: By the end of this course, participants will be able to independently:

  1. Describe the anatomy and physiology of the human oxygen transport system,
  2. Explain the pathophysiology of 3 commonly seen CVP diseases,
  3. Explain the pathophysiology of 3 commonly seen pediatric CVP diseases,
  4. Interpret 3 CVP diagnostic tests,
  5. Perform a chest exam and alter the performance of the fragile CVP patient with breathing and airway clearance techniques,
  6. Interpret the results of a maximum exercise test,
  7. Analyze 3 CVP medications including their mechanism of action, why they are prescribed and their effect on the cardiovascular or pulmonary system,
  8. Design a treatment plan for a patient with cardiovascular disease,
  9. Design a treatment plan for a patient with pulmonary disease, and
  10. Design a treatment plan for a pediatric patient with cardiovascular or pulmonary disease.


Course Adgenda:

  • Day 1:  Cardiovascular
    • Cardiovascular Anatomy and Physiology
    • Cardiovascular Pathophysiology
    • CVP Diagnostic Testing
    • Cardiovascular Interventions
    • Exercise Testing and Prescription
    • Ask the Panel of CCS Experts (Q&A)*
  • Day 2:  Pulmonary
    • Pulmonary Anatomy and Physiology
    • Pulmonary Pathophysiology
    • CVP Medications
    • Chest Exam and Pulmonary Interventions
    • Pediatric CVP Conditions and Treatment Strategies
  • *Panel of CCS Experts and Assistant Course Faculty:  The panel of CCS experts will be made up of CVP faculty and practitioners in the Chicago area who have successfully passed the CCS exam.


Clock Hours:

16 hours lecture/lab/discussion – CEUs available



$500 full conference (2 days)

*Discounts available for employees affiliated with a hosting center

** Discounts available for groups of 5+ people, please contact for details


Course Faculty and Assistant Course Faculty: Morgan Johanson, PT, MSPT, Board Certified Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Specialist and individuals who have recently passed the CCS exam have participated in course content creation and will assist with teaching this course.