Suctioning Skills and Clinical Decision Making for Physical Therapists – Spring 2017

I’m sorry registration for this course has now closed.


Online Learning:  Participants should expect to devote 2-3 hours on pre-course learning. Pre-course materials will be released 1 week before (February 4th, 2017)

Onsite Workshop: February 11, 2017 8:00 am – 1:00pm


This course is intended for physical therapists who wish to advance their knowledge and skills related to suctioning and clinical decision making in the adult population. The course is designed to include online pre course learning and a half-day on site workshop using simulation.

Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of this course, the therapist should be able to:

  • Discuss the pathophysiology and impact of secretion retention on oxygen transport
  • Describe the role of mucociliary clearance in common pulmonary conditions
  • Describe the legal and ethical requirements for performing suctioning
  • Discuss the risks and complications of suctioning
  • Describe appropriate precautions and safety procedures for both therapists and patients including associated infection control procedures
  • Assess/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

Course Outline:

Suctioning, including oral, endotracheal, tracheal and nasopharyngeal is a legislated controlled act and requires rostering with the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario.  It requires 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.

Course Content:

  • Narrated lectures and resources via an online portal
  • Practical application of suctioning skills using simulation manikins and equipment to provide for different types of suctioning with real time feedback from facilitators
  • Clinical decision-making through simulated scenarios in a real world context
  • Multiple choice question quizzes


All instructors teach within the Ontario Internationally Educated Physical Therapy Bridging Program and the MScPT program in the Dept. of Physical therapy, University of Toronto.

Lindsay Beavers MScPT. Lindsay is a PT in acute and critical care at St. Michael’s Hospital with additional experience working with advanced scope in Melbourne, Australia. She has a strong interest in cardiorespiratory physical therapy and simulation.

Erin Miller MScPT and MHSc. Erin is an acute care PT at Toronto East General Hospital/Micheal Garron Hospital and has a keen interest in the area of cardiorespiratory PT.

Lisa Wickerson BScPT, MSc. Lisa is a PT at the Toronto General Hospital and a lecturer in the cardiorespiratory unit in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto.


500 University Avenue, 7th Floor, Toronto, M5G 1V7

Registration Fees:

Early Bird: $395 (received on or before January 31, 2017)
Regular: $430 (received after January 31, 2017)

Registration includes light refreshments and a course manual

To register: I’m sorry registration for this course has now closed.

For further information please email:

The University of Toronto, Department of Physical Therapy reserves the right to limit enrolment to ensure the quality of a course for learners.

The University of Toronto, Department of Physical Therapy reserves the right to cancel a course if there is sufficient enrolment.

Cancellations must be requested 5 days prior to the commencement of the course. Cancellations are subject to a $75 administration fee.