Continuing professional education

Physical Agent Modalities for Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants

Tuition: $325

Hours: 12 or 1.2 CEUs

Prerequisite: None

Who Attends: Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants

Upcoming Dates and Locations: View Our Catalog

Seminar Description:

Physical Agent Modalities (PAM’s) for Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants is designed as an introductory course to educate occupational therapy practitioners in the use of physical agents in the areas of electrotherapy and ultrasound. The physical principles and biophysical effects of cryotherapy, heat, ultrasound and electrical currents are presented as they are related to the treatment for indicated pathological conditions. Emphasis is placed on principles of differential diagnosis in the selection and application of appropriate physical agents. The course will prepare the participant in the theory and clinical application of ultrasound, iontophoresis, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and neuromuscular electrical nerve stimulation (NMES). Additional topics included are: the use of PAM’s within the Occupational Therapy Framework with review of AOTA’s 2003 position paper on PAM’s and the Florida statute requirements for occupational therapist. This physical agents modalities course was designed by an occupational therapist for occupational therapists. Course presentation will include lectures, laboratory sessions and problem based learning via case studies.

Learning Objectives:

At the completion of this seminar the attendee should be able to:

  • Describe how physical agent modalities fits within the Occupational Therapy framework and identify their certification responsibilities within the state of Florida.
  • Describe the physical principles of temperature, sound and electricity and their biological effects on the human body.
  • Describe the relationship between the stages of wound healing, pain theories and modality selection.
  • Identify indications for the use of electrotherapy and ultrasound modalities within the Occupational Therapy framework.
  • Demonstrate appropriate selection and application of electrotherapy and ultrasound modalities as it relates to occupational therapy treatment.
  • Identify instrumentation of the modalities presented and demonstrate appropriate selection of settings.
  • Identify components of appropriate documentation for ultrasound and electrotherapy devices.
  • Identify precautions and contraindications for ultrasound and electrotherapy devices.
  • Immediately integrate the information presented into their clinical practice within the SCOPE OF THE FLORIDA STATE LICENSURE LAW FOR OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST.



9:00 – 10:00 AM – Seminar Begin; Physical Agent Modalities and Occupational Therapy
10:00 – 10:15 AM – BREAK
10:15 – 11:00 AM – Wound Healing Stages
11:00 – 11:30 AM – Pain
11:30 – 12:15 PM – Heat versus Cryotherapy; Deep versus Superficial Heat
12:15 – 1:15 PM – LUNCH
1:15 – 2:15 PM – Ultrasound
2:15 – 3:15 PM – Ultrasound Lab
3:15 – 3:30 PM – BREAK
3:30 – 4:30 PM – Introduction to Electrotherapy; Iontophoresis
4:30 – 5:30 PM – Iontophoresis Lab


8:00 – 9:00 AM – Electrotherapy Basics Continued
9:00 – 9:15 AM – BREAK
9:15 – 10:00 AM – TENS
10:00 – 11:00 AM – TENS Lab
11:00 – 11:15 AM – BREAK
11:15 – 12:15 PM – NMES
12:15 – 1:30 PM – NMES Lab; Case Studies


  • Kelly McCoy
  • Carrie DeLuca
  • Melinda Petty

Register Now
Visit our CPE catalog to register for this and other CPE courses.