Suctioning Skills and Clinical Decision Making for Physical Therapists – Fall 2018

18-28 October 2018

A Ten-Day Hybrid On-site/Online Course

Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto

Onsite workshop:

27 October 2018   
9:00 am–1:00 pm
Room TBA
500 University Ave
Toronto, Ontario   

REGISTER HERE – I’m sorry registration has closed for this course.


Suctioning, including oral, endotracheal, tracheal and nasopharyngeal is a legislated controlled act and requires rostering with the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario. Practitioners need a thorough understanding of pathophysiological components of the cardiorespiratory system, as well as a comprehensive knowledge of the benefits and potential risks of suctioning. Accurate cardiorespiratory assessment and analytical skills, as well as hands on psychomotor skills are required to safely and effectively provide this intervention.
This course is designed to build upon foundational entry-to-practice physical therapy skills through clinical best practices review and the opportunity to practice the psychomotor skills of suctioning in a variety of clinical scenarios. We welcome all physical therapists who wish to advance their knowledge and skills related to suctioning and clinical decision making in the adult population. Participants will have access to online pre-course learning including narrated lectures, readings, and supplementary resources available through the course website. The on-site workshop uses simulation manikins and equipment in real-world scenarios to provide for different types of suctioning with real-time feedback from facilitators. Participants should expect to devote ~5 hours to pre-course learning from 18-26 October 2018.


At the conclusion of this course, learners will be able to:

  • Discuss the pathophysiology and impact of secretion retention on oxygen transport
  • Explain the role of mucociliary clearance in common pulmonary conditions
  • Identify the legal and ethical requirements for performing suctioning
  • Analyze the risks and complications of suctioning
  • Describe appropriate precautions and safety procedures for both therapists and patients including associated infection control procedures
  • Assess and monitor a patient’s cardiorespiratory status to determine if suctioning is the indicated based on the cardiorespiratory physiotherapy treatment hierarchy
  • Perform the different types of suctioning including oral, endotracheal, tracheal and nasopharyngeal suctioning in accordance with current clinical practice guidelines


Lindsay Beavers graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 2006 and has spent the last 9 years working in acute and critical care at St. Michael’s Hospital in addition to working with advanced scope in Melbourne, Australia. With strong interest in cardiorespiratory physical therapy and simulation, Lindsay teaches with the Ontario Internationally Educated Physical Therapy Bridging Program and serves as a clinical instructional assistant with the MScPT program at the University of Toronto.

Erin Miller graduated from the University of Toronto’s MScPT program in 2006 and went on to complete the Master of Health Management program at McMaster University in 2013. She has spent the past 9 years working as an acute care physical therapist at Toronto East General Hospital/Michael Garron Hospital and has a keen interest in the area of cardiorespiratory physical therapy. In addition to her clinical work, Erin teaches with the Ontario Internationally Educated Physical Therapy Bridging Program and serves as a clinical instructional assistant with the MScPT program at the University of Toronto.


To participate in this online course, you will need:

  1. An up-to-date web browser, preferably Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari.
  2. A recent version of Adobe Reader (


Register at: I’m sorry registration has closed for this course.

Registration fees include all course materials and light refreshments on 27 October

Early Bird Fee:                   $335 (received on or before Monday, 1 October 2018)

Regular Fee:                       $430 (received after Monday, 1 October 2018)

Registration Deadline:   15 October 2018

Phone: (416) 946-8641 • Fax: (416) 946-8562

For further information please contact:

Refund for withdrawal is subject to a $75.00 administration fee and must be requested at least 5 days prior to the commencement of the course.

The University of Toronto reserves the right to cancel in cases of insufficient registration.