Coronavirus (COVID-19) Course

This course has been generously supported by World Physiotherapy

This course is currently available as a free open online course. It has been developed in response to this new virus being declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation. The course has been updated according to emerging new information and is available for you to do at any time in Physioplus, it can be started and completed at any time that suits you.

Course Information[edit | edit source]

  • Course Type - Free, Open, Online
  • Course Co-ordinators - Rachael Lowe
  • Institution - Physiopedia
  • About this course - This online course will develop knowledge Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the related role of the physiotherapist.
  • Who can take part- This course is aimed at physiotherapy and physical therapy professionals, clinicians, students and assistants; other interested health care professionals interested in this subject are more than welcome to participate. 
  • Date of course - 15th March 2020 - 31st December 2020
  • Time commitment- 8 hours
  • Language - the course will be in English
  • Requirements;- You will complete online learning activities, engage with additional resources, take part in the conversation online and complete the course evaluation.
  • Assessment - There will be a final quiz.
  • Awards - Physioplus completion certificate and CPD points.

Quick Overview[edit | edit source]

  1. On Monday 16 March 2020 the course was released via social media platforms and Physiospot.
  2. The course will be available through our online learning platform - Physioplus.
  3. The full Coronavirus Disease MOOC course title is "Coronavirus Disease Programme"
  4. This programme is divided into four short courses, each being approximately 8 hours in length.
  5. Starting Monday 16 March 2020, the four courses were released simultaneously.
  6. You will get a certificate for each course completed.
  7. Once you have completed all four courses, if you are a full Physioplus member you will be able to submit an assignment to complete the full programme and receive the full programme certificate.
  8. The course will be available to complete for free until 31st December 2020. After this date full Physioplus members will be able to complete the full programme and refer back to any of the resources at any time in the future.

The information page for this programme of courses can be viewed on Physioplus - Coronavirus Disease Programme

Introduction[edit | edit source]

We are currently living through an unprecedented global health crisis resulting from a pandemic caused by a novel Coronavirus. Many of the elderly, vulnerable and also our fellow frontline healthcare workers will bear the brunt of this crisis, however, the physiotherapy/physical therapy profession also has an important role to play. This series of online courses will explore the nature of this outbreak and how we can play our part in mitigating this crisis. Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause illnesses such as respiratory or gastrointestinal diseases. In January 2020 a previously unknown coronavirus was identified in Wuhan China. It mainly presents with respiratory symptoms, fever and can result in severe acute respiratory distress in high-risk populations.

One of the early messages to emerge was the importance of implementing procedures and techniques for infection prevention, to limit healthcare-acquired infections as well as control the general spread of epidemics and pandemics. A key component of this is basic hand hygiene which forms the foundation of infection control. The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, masks, gowns and goggles allows healthcare personal to treat patients with communicable diseases while protecting themselves and others. The procedures for putting on (donning) and taking off (doffing) of PPE needs to follow specific sequencing and techniques in order to ensure best infection control and prevention practices.

Due to the respiratory nature of the virus, this course will provide an overview of the role of the physiotherapist in the management of patients with COVID-19 in the acute hospital setting and also in the rehabilitation following recovery from the disease. This is an important aspect of management in individuals with COVID-19 as approximately 15% of diagnosed patients will develop moderate to severe disease and require hospitalisation and oxygen support, with a further 5% who require admission to an Intensive Care Unit and supportive therapies including intubation and ventilation. The most common complication in severe COVID-19 patients is severe pneumonia, but other complications may include Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), Sepsis and Septic Shock, Multiple Organ Failure, including Acute Kidney Injury and Cardiac Injury.

Aim[edit | edit source]

This course aims to provide an introductory insight into this novel coronavirus and includes its clinical presentation, diagnosis, management and the prevention of transmission. Including advice on infection prevention and control and specifically reviews procedures and policies for hand hygiene and personal protective equipment.

It also explains the role physiotherapists play in managing issues related to the COVID-19 disease from case identification, limiting transmission in different clinical settings, including an acute hospital setting, and treating patients with mild, moderate and severe symptoms.

Intended Audience[edit | edit source]

This course is aimed at physiotherapy and physical therapy professionals, clinicians, students and assistants; other interested health care professionals interested in this subject are more than welcome to participate. 

Learning Objectives[edit | edit source]

  • Describe COVID-19 in terms of the virus strain, transmission, incubation period, and case definitions
  • Correctly identify COVID-19 symptoms, high-risk populations, and reasons for emergency medical treatment
  • Explain infectious disease in terms of direct and indirect transmission of microorganisms, susceptible persons, and standard precautions
  • Identify strategies for environmental cleaning and disinfecting and the importance of proper hand hygiene
  • Describe practices that will help to limit the transmission of COVID-19
  • Plan early identification strategies of COVID-19 in your clinical setting
  • Understand self-isolating protocols that patients and families/carers can follow to reduce the transmission of COVID-19
  • Select appropriate physiotherapy interventions for patients with COVID-19 who have respiratory symptoms
  • List the most common complication seen in hospitalised patients with COVID-19
  • Correctly identify the type of cough and sputum load in patients with COVID-19
  • Discuss which procedures are aerosol-generating and which precautions to take
  • Describe non-invasive and invasive mechanical ventilation in terms of uses, settings, precautions, and preventing complications
  • Identify when a patient with COVID-19 is appropriate for a respiratory physiotherapy referral

Course Structure[edit | edit source]

This course will be divided into 4 separate smaller courses. Each course can be done as a stand alone course and it is suggested (but not required) that each course be completed over the duration of approximately a week. Please note that no deadlines are applied and this programme of courses can be started and completed according to your own schedule. We expect the required elements of each course to take around 8 hours depending on your schedule and learning style. Additionally, there are many optional resources provided and if you choose to review these the course could take significantly longer to complete.

It’s not going to be easy, we’ll expect you to work hard for your completion certificate! You won’t be sitting back and watching webinars, we’ll expect you to undertake reading tasks, complete quizzes, perform literature searches and other learning activities. You’ll need to reflect on your own experiences and make written contributions to the discussion forum. This forum is where we can learn from each other’s experiences and knowledge from all around the world! At the end of the course, when you have completed all of the required elements, you will be able to download a certificate of completion and 8 Physioplus points will be added to your personalised learning dashboard in Physioplus.

Course Outline[edit | edit source]

Section 1: Understanding Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

Section 2: Infection Prevention and Control

Section 3: Role of Physiotherapy in COVID-19

Section 4: Respiratory Management of People with COVID-19

Section 5: Optional Assignment (to complete the programme)

Types of Learning Activity Involved[edit | edit source]

Reading Physiopedia pages, journal articles, book chapters. Watching videos. Attempting quizzes. Participating in an international discussion forum.

Cost[edit | edit source]

This course was FREE when it first ran from March -Dec 2020!

Where[edit | edit source]

This is a completely online course which will take place in Physiopedia's complimentary e-learning platform Physioplus.

You will need need to set up a FREE trial account to access the course, you can do that here.

The course will become available on the Physioplus site from 15 March 2020.

Time Commitment[edit | edit source]

Completing this course will involve approximately 8 hours of learning activities that can be completed online at any time that suits you. There are no specific times that you are required to be online.

Language[edit | edit source]

This course will be in English. Although participants will only require basic English skills (reading skills are more important than conversational skills). Participants will be encouraged to be respectful and empathetic to those for whom English is not their first language (e.g. in the discussion forum).

Accreditation, Assessment and Certification[edit | edit source]

The course will be accredited in Australia and South Africa.

On the successful completion of this course, each participant will be provided with a Physioplus Certificate of Completion and Physioplus Points (our own Physioplus points which are equivalent to CPD Points/CEUs). These will be awarded provided you:

  1. Be part of the Physiopedia Plus Community Culture.
  2. Log as completed all the required learning activities.
  3. Actively and appropriately participate in the course discussions.
  4. Pass a final quiz with a score of 80% or more.
  5. Complete a course evaluation form.

Thanks![edit | edit source]

We would like to extend a massive thank you to the donation from World Physiotherapy that has contributed towards the funding for this course.

Still Have Questions?[edit | edit source]

You may find the answer here!