Treatment Options for Rheumatoid Arthritis

This instructional course has been designed to provide relevant information to healthcare clinicians regarding the current treatment options for Rheumatoid Arthritis. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis may present in any healthcare setting. The nurse may be involved in obtaining a medical history, performing diagnostic procedures, providing patient education, coordinating with other healthcare disciplines, and preparing and administering medications to treat the disease. This course presents information about various types of interventions but concentrates heavily on the use of medications, the mainstay of RA treatment. All clinicians involved in caring for these patients need a working knowledge of the diagnosis for which these medications are given, side effects of the drugs, and appropriate interventions when necessary.

This course includes information about intravenously administered medications. State Boards of Nursing have varying positions on the role of the LPN/LVN in the administration of infusion therapy. A link to each state board of nursing is listed on the Pedagogy website. Competency requirements are obtained and maintained through the nurse’s employer, facility or institution. 


Upon completion of this course, the participant should be able to:

  1. Describe the classic symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
  2. Identify the drugs classes used for symptom management of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
  3. Identify the disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs used to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis.
  4. Recognize the difference between Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy interventions for Rheumatoid Arthritis.
  5. Describe lifestyle interventions that can improve Rheumatoid Arthritis outcomes.


Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Diagnosis

Chapter 3: Pharmaceutical Treatment – Symptoms Management

  • Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Analgesics
  • Corticosteroids

Chapter 4: Pharmaceutical Treatment – Conventional DMARDs

Chapter 5: Pharmaceutical Treatment – Biologic DMARDs

  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Inhibitors
  • T-cell Costimulation Modulator
  • B-cell Depletion
  • Interleukin-6 Receptor Antagonists
  • Janus Kinase Inhibitors

Chapter 6: Pharmaceutical Treatment – Immunosuppressants

Chapter 7: Surgical Treatment

  • Arthroplasty
  • Arthroscopy
  • Nerve release
  • Synovectomy
  • Wrist Arthrodesis

Chapter 8: Complementary Treatments

  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy

Chapter 9: Lifestyle Alterations

  • Diet
  • Weight control
  • Exercise
  • California Bill 241
  • Implicit Bias in Healthcare
  • What is Implicit Bias?
  • Implications of Implicit Bias in Healthcare
  • How to Reduce Implicit Bias

Price: $24.00

Contact Hours: 2

Course Author

Pamela Clark

Pamela Clark, CRNI, is an infusion nurse with the Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. She has more than 35 years of experience in infusion therapy and infusion education with both licensed nurses and patients. Her experience spans multiple infusion settings including: acute care, long-term care, home infusion, and ambulatory infusion care. She also has experience in oncology and oncology research.

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