Physical therapy continuing education requires professionals to stay up to date with changing guidelines and restrictions. As part of working in the medical community, physical therapists are required to pay close attention to new findings that may impact the way they work with patients and clients.
According to the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association, blood pressure guidelines have changed. New findings suggest some changes to the way the medical community will assess hypertension and pre-hypertension.
If you are a physical therapist or another professional in the physical therapy field, read on to learn more about the new guidelines and how you can apply them to your work.
What Are the New Guidelines?
Before the change in guidelines, high blood pressure was considered anything higher than 140/90 mmHg. According to the 2017 changes, new guidelines add more categories to the classification system. This allows professionals to provide a more detailed picture to clients about their blood pressure.
Normal blood pressure is now considered to be less than 120/80 mmHg. Blood pressure in this range is deemed to be healthy and does not necessarily demonstrate any signs of hypertension.
Prehypertension tends to come with elevated blood pressure ranging from 120-129 over 80 mmHg. Individuals with this range of blood pressure have a higher likelihood of experiencing hypertension shortly. Prehypertension is an indication that the patient needs to pay close attention and begin monitoring their blood pressure more often.
Stage one hypertension includes blood pressure with a systolic range between 130 and 139 mmHg. With this new classification also comes a recommendation for more patients to use medication. Hypertension is often a warning sign for issues like heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, and heart disease.
What was once simply called hypertension is now labeled as stage two hypertension with the same requirements. The systolic range for stage two hypertension is more than 140 mmHg. Individuals with high blood pressure are at high risk for medical conditions linked to heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke.
How Do These Changes Impact Physical Therapists?
One of the first differences you may see is in physical therapy continuing education. Professionals may need to pay more attention to lifestyle factors and behaviors that lead to blood pressure issues. Physical therapists must better understand the central causes of elevated blood pressure, including stress and underlying health conditions.
Additionally, physical therapists will find that routine blood pressure screening is increasingly crucial in preventing health conditions like stroke and heart attacks. Physical therapists who take action can see changes as they occur and link them to tangible factors. They can also collaborate with other medical professionals to make positive choices for the future.
Hypertension is a serious medical condition. Millions of people around the world have high blood pressure, but physical therapy continuing education may be one of the keys to preventing it from becoming a serious detriment.
Staying educated about physical therapy and health guidelines can help you continue to be an excellent professional in your field. Continuing education coursework is the key to becoming a stronger physical therapist. Physical Therapy Courses can help you stay up-to-date on these guidelines.