ATrain Education


Continuing Education for Health Professionals

Stroke: Emergency Care and Rehabilitation for OTs

If you are not an Occupational Therapist, please go to Stroke: Emergency Care and Rehabilitation.

Fran Laughton, RN, PHN, MSN, FNP

Fran Laughton is a nurse practitioner who earned an RN from City College of San Francisco, a BSN from California State University, Dominguez Hills, and an MSN from Sonoma State University.

Fran Laughton is the co-founder, assistant director, and clinical coordinator for the Registered Nursing program at Mendocino College in Ukiah, California. She has classroom and clinical content certification by the State of California Board of Registered Nursing in Medical-Surgical, Psychiatry, Maternal/Child, Pediatrics, and Pharmacology, and is the lead instructor for these content areas. In addition, Fran is in private practice as a family nurse practitioner.

JoAnn O'Toole, RN, BSN

JoAnn O’Toole, RN, BSN,is a registered nurse, writer, and researcher. While in college at San Jose State University and later at the University of Mexico in Mexico City, she carried a double major in Spanish and journalism and a minor in Latin.

She currently works in the Emergency Department at Kaiser Hospital in Redwood City, California, a certified stroke center and a sepsis center.

Lauren Robertson, BA, MPT

Lauren Robertson earned a BA in Biology from Mills College in Oakland, California, and a Master's degree in Physical Therapy from the University of California at San Francisco.

Lauren is the founder and co-owner of ATrain Education ( and she has written or co-written more than two hundred courses on a wide range of topics for her continuing education website. She is certified as a trainer on Alzheimer's disease and related dementias by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs.

  • Contact hours:
  • Pharmacotherapy hours: 4
  • Expiration date: October 1, 2019
  • Course price: $59

Course Summary

This is an interdisciplinary course intended for nurses, nurse practitioners, advanced practice nurses, physical therapists, and occupational therapists. It presents information about types of stroke and risk factors as well as a review of brain anatomy with emphasis on deficits associated with lesions in different parts of the brain. Treatment regimens, prehospital, ED treatment, and pharmacologic management are described.

Rehabilitation following an acute stroke is discussed in detail, including current information about motor control theories, techniques for regaining the use of the upper and lower extremities, and a discussion of challenges faced by stroke patients and their families following a stroke.

The course is intended to challenge rehabilitation therapists in their understanding of acute management of stroke as well as challenging nurses, nurse practitioners, and advanced practice nurses in their understanding of the efficacy and issues associated with post-stroke rehabilitation.

ATrain Education, Inc. is an approved provider by the American Occupational Therapy Association. The following course information applies to occupational therapy professionals:

  • Target Audience: Occupational Therapists, OTAs
  • Instructional Level: Intermediate
  • Content Focus: Content Focus: Category 1—Domain of OT, Client Factors Category 2—Occupational Therapy Process, Outcomes

Criteria for Successful Completion

80% or higher on the post test, a completed evaluation form, and payment where required. No partial credit will be awarded.

Conflict of Interest/Commercial Support

Conflict of Interest/Commercial Support

The planners and authors of this learning activity have declared no conflicts of interest, vested interest, or financial relationship that may influence the content of this activity. All information is provided fairly and without bias.

ATrain Education, Inc. received no outside financial or commercial support in the preparation, presentation or implementation of this learning activity and has no affiliation with any company whose products or services are mentioned in this activity.

Accreditation Information

Objectives: When you finish this course you will be able to:

  • Discuss the incidence of stroke in the United States.
  • Describe two features each of ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke.
  • Describe the four main structures of the brain.
  • State the two main arterial systems that supply blood to the brain.
  • Identify one aspect each of gender, age, and racial differences in the presentation of acute stroke.
  • Discuss five elements addressed in the prevention of stroke.
  • Describe the five elements of emergency department care of the acute stroke patient.
  • Summarize three therapies for the acute treatment of ischemic stroke.
  • Describe the three most common destinations for post-stroke rehabilitation.
  • Define plasticity and maladaptive plasticity.
  • Discuss the three sensory elements that contribute to balance.
  • Define walking adaptability and identify three movement strategies important for balance.
  • Discuss three key points related to bilateral upper limb training.
  • Identify four screening tools used to assess the presence or absence of dysphagia.
  • Describe four common cognitive impairments that can occur following a stroke.
  • Identify three factors that may lead to the development of depression following a stroke.
  • Explain why low levels of physical fitness affect recovery following a stroke.
  • Describe three common mobility devices used following a stroke.
  • Describe the three interventions that must be undertaken to prevent skin breakdown following a stroke.
  • Summarize three issues associated with caregiving once a stroke patient is discharged to home.
  • Explain the importance of sedentary time in the inpatient rehab setting.
  • Summarize the four elements associated with treatment burden.
  • Define and describe neuroregenerative medicine.

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