FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

PAMPCA, LLC, is in the process of having the Physical Agent Modalities Practitioner Course© reviewed by each of the states that require pre-approval of continuing education course. To date, we have been approved by AOTA as an approved continuing education provider. Each state may differ as to the number of contact hours required for physical agent modalities training, so make sure you check with you state Occupational Therapy Board.
Not at this time. The educational program that we offer is intended to provide a comprehensive review of the bio-physiologic and therapeutic benefits of physical agent modalities. The course also addresses the safe and efficacious application of physical agent modalities in the clinical setting. Individuals who complete this course will be credentialed in both thermal and electrical modalities.
The supervised application of 10 superficial/deep thermal and 10 electrotherapy applications can be completed at any time. Some participants begin to collect these supervised application before attending the 2 day workshop and this is fine. Please note, as of January 2012, we will require that the supervised applications must be completed within 18 months of completion of the 2 day workshop. Exemptions to this policy will be considered on a case by case basis.

Only when we have verified that the supervising therapist’s license is current and that they have authorization to use PAMs, will we mail the Certificate of Completion. It is very important that the required information is correct (name, credentials, and license number). Incomplete or incorrect information will delay receipt of your certificate.
The time to sign up for the course is now! Remember that participants need to allow for 20 hours of on-line learning. This will allow time to complete each lesson, including readings in the textbook and on-line, and to take each on-line quiz.
The Physical Agent Modalities Practitioner Credentialing Course© is a 3 phase program: an online learning program, a two day workshop (which includes a comprehensive examination), and a supervised clinical experience. The first phase requires the participant to complete a series of on-line education modules. The modules are designed to take approximately 20 hours to complete. Associated with most lessons is a short quiz that illustrates your mastery of the material. The following is a breakdown of the education modules:

  • National and State Rules, Regulations, Position Papers (1 hour)
  • Superficial Surface Anatomy (2 hours)
  • Wound Healing (2 hours)
  • Pain Theory
    1. Understanding Pain (1 hour)
    2. Intervention Strategies (1 hour)
  • Superficial Thermal Agents (hot packs, paraffin, Fluidotherapy, light) (2 hours)
  • Deep Thermal Agents (Ultrasound, Phonophoresis) (2 hours)
  • Cryotherapy (cold pack, ice massage, contrasting baths) (2 hours)
  • Electrotherapy
    1. Understanding the basis for Electrotherapy (2 hours)
    2. Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (1 hour)
    3. Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (2 hours)
  • Clinical Pharmacology (1 hour)
  • Iontophoresis (1 hour)

The second phase of training is a two-day workshop that is offered regionally (16 contact hours). This workshop is primarily experiential and provides a hands-on training segment. Participants work in small groups to complete simulated clinical case studies on the appropriate PAM application and documentation. This workshop culminates in a comprehensive examination on the use of PAMs. The typical workshop begins on Saturday at 8 a.m. and continues until 5:30 p.m. (with an hour for lunch and two 15 minute breaks). The topics covered the first day include: differential diagnoses, pain management, thermal modalities, Cryotherapy, ultrasound, and introduction to electrotherapy (transcutaneous electrical stimulation, neuromuscular electrical stimulation and function electrical stimulation). Sunday’s session begins at 8 a.m. and finishes at 5 p.m. Topics for this day are clinical pharmacology, Iontophoresis, and completion of several case studies that have direct application to the modalities presented. A comprehensive examination will be given on Sunday afternoon beginning at 3:00 p.m. There will be a short review session held prior to administering the examination.

The third phase involves clinically administering physical agent modalities under the supervision of a qualified therapist approved by your state to use physical agent modalities. This can be an occupational therapist that has been approved by the state to use PAMs. The supervising clinician can also be a physical therapist, or in some states a Certified Hand Therapist. State regulations may vary. Course participants are encouraged to review their respective state guidelines to identify appropriate personnel for the supervisory portion of the course. Please remember, though, that a COTA can not supervise an OTR. Participants will need to complete 10 Thermal applications (5 hours application time) and 10 Electrical applications (5 hours application time). The supervising therapist will be asked to attest to the participant’s efficacious and safe application of thermal and electrical modalities. They also will assess the appropriateness of the documentation following each modality application. The necessary forms are provided to participants through our Internet instruction site.
We schedule workshops throughout the calendar year. We are interested in offering the Physical Agent Modalities Practitioner Credentialing Course© to all parts of the country. You can help with this! We can conduct a workshop in your area if there are approximately 25 participants. Due to the intensity and requirements of the program, enrollment in each course is limited. If you feel that you can accommodate this number, we will be happy to schedule a program in your area. Feel free to contact us by phone at: 615-414-8473.
You need to achieve a grade of 75% or higher on the quizzes and comprehensive examination. If you do not achieve a minimum of 75% for a quiz, you can retake the quiz as many times a necessary to attain a passing grade.
The comprehensive examination is designed to assess the participant’s knowledge of the safe and efficacious use of physical agent modalities. The test reflects issues such as the physiologic response, therapeutic benefit, precautions, and contraindications, for each of the modalities. The test is comprised of multiple choice questions. If a participant should not receive a passing grade, they will be given an assessment of where they are weak and given the opportunity to study these areas. They will be allowed to retake the examination at a future time convenient to the participant and PAMPCA staff.