This course introduces students to the unique aspects of the acute and critical care environment and patient management principles, to include medical equipment, effects of prolonged hospitalization, and their role in multidisciplinary care. Students develop examination, treatment planning, intervention, and discharge planning skills for medically complex patients in acute care settings. This course will explore the therapist's role as an interdependent practitioner working within a collaborative medical model. Inherent in the responsibilities associated with this role is the ability to recognize clinical manifestations that suggest that physician contact is warranted regarding a client's health status. Equally important is knowing what one can omit from the examination scheme on a given day, while placing the client at minimal risk. A proposed examination scheme will provide the structure for our discussion. Presenting the clinical tools and decision-making processes necessary to more efficiently and effectively collect and evaluate the examination data, will be the focus of this course. Professional communication with the client and other health care professionals will also be a central theme. Patient cases are presented as the final part of this course as a means of applying differential diagnostic principles and promoting clinical decision-making.