Anatomy and Physiology of the Heart

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Course Description: This course provides an advanced and detailed description of the anatomy and physiology of the human cardiovascular system. It includes the structures and purpose of the heart, chambers, valves, peripheral and great vessels. Participants will learn how the conduction system of the heart propagates electric impulses, how the heart is innervated, and how the heart rate is regulated. The concepts of cardiac output, ejection fraction and venous return are discussed. The events of the cardiac cycle including the electrical events and the pressure and volume changes during the cardiac cycle are thoroughly explained. You will also learn how the blood flows to the working heart and body during exercise and the effects of aging on the cardiovascular system. The information is presented with clinical examples for the practicing Physical Therapist to immediately apply to their evaluation and treatment of patients with cardiovascular disease.

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

  1. Describe the contents of the mediastinum,
  2. List the layers and explain the role of the layers of heart muscle and blood vessels,
  3. State the purpose of the chambers of the heart the valves,
  4. Explain the conduction system, the innervation of the heart and the regulation of heart rate,
  5. Describe the events of the cardiac cycle including the relationship between pressure, volume, cardiac sounds and electrical activity in the heart,
  6. Differentiate between and understand cardiac output, ejection fraction and venous return, and
  7. Describe how blood flows to the heart muscle and muscles of the body during exercise.