Physical Agent Modality Credentialing Course for the Occupational Therapy Practitioner

More Information for Therapists

July 2012

Dear Colleague,

The mission of Physical Agent Modalities Practitioner Credentialing Agency, LLC, (PAMPCA) is to provide a credentialing process that includes the necessary education, testing, and monitoring of clinical preparedness for practitioners who want to use physical agent modalities in their practice. In so doing, the public is able to identify those healthcare professionals who are qualified to use physical agent modalities as part of their routine practices.

PAMPCA was established to educate practitioners in the proper, safe and judicious use of physical agent modalities in the treatment of their clients. PAMPCA provides the education, testing and awarding of an initial credential for physical agent modalities use to practitioners. We have created an innovative, structured educational system leading to certifying individuals for using physical agent modalities. This education process is provided through web based instructional media (using VSpace), a two day, hands-on, experiential workshop, and monitoring supervised clinical experiences. To date, hundreds of occupational therapy practitioners have successfully completed this certification program offered by PAMPCA, LLC, and are approved by their respective states to legally use physical agent modalities.

Our physical agent modalities practitioner-credentialing course is comprised of twelve modules. Upon completion of this course, practitioners receive 45 contact hours of continuing education credit (awarded in conjunction with Saginaw Valley State University, Michigan). The entire course is comprised of three parts. The breakdown of the course and continuing education contact hours awarded is as follows (module objectives can be found as a separate attachment):


Part I: Didactic Coursework (20 hours to complete including taking module tests)

     National and State Rules, Regulations, Position Papers (1 hour)

     Superficial Surface Anatomy (2 hours)

     Wound Healing (2 hours)

     Pain Theory

          a. Part 1: Understanding Pain (1 hour)

          b. Part 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)


          a. Understanding the basis for Electrotherapy (2 hours)

          b. Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (1 hour)

          c. Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (2 hours)

     Clinical Pharmacology (1 hour)

     Iontophoresis (1 hour)

Part 2: Two Day Weekend Workshop (16 contact hours)

     14 hour hands on lab experience

       2 hour comprehensive test over the didactic and workshop materials

Part 3: Supervised Clinical Application of PAMs (supervision by either an OT or a PT currently certified to use physical agent modalities in their state)

     10 Thermal applications (4.5 hours)

     10 Electrical applications (4.5 hours)

PAMPCA, LLC, was established in 2003 by Doctors Scott McPhee, MS, DrPH, CPAM, OTR/ L, FAOTA and Alfred Bracciano, EdD, CPAM, OTR/L, FAOTA. Both have been instrumental in providing education programs nationally and internationally in the area of physical agent modalities. Doctor McPhee developed and taught the web-based certification course for PAMs in the State of Tennessee since 2000. Both Doctors McPhee and Bracciano are co-authors of AOTA’s Position Paper on Physical Agent Modalities (AJOT 62(Nov/Dec), 2008). Doctor Bracciano is the author of the textbook Physical Agent Modalities: Theory and Application for the Occupational Therapy (2nd Ed., Slack Publishing Company, 2008). Both have given numerous workshop presentations on the topic of Physical Agent Modalities and have taught professional courses and workshops in nationally and internationally.

The Physical Agent Modalities Practitioners Credentialing Agency, LLC, is an AOTA Approved Provider (#4859), a California Board of Occupational Therapy approved Advanced Practice Provider (#APP-P26), the Nebraska Board of Occupational Therapy, and the Tennessee Board of Health Related Professions. The credentialing course complies with most state laws and regulations.

We feel that PAMPCA is of tremendous benefit to occupational therapy practitioners through the provision of a quality education program in the proper use of PAMs. The cost for this course is only $550.00. This cost provides the course textbook, all handout materials, access to VSpace (the internet website for the didactic portion of the course), one weekend lab workshop, and all testing in the use of PAMs.

Check for Workshop Dates at the right of the screen. You can also find the courses being advertised in the OT Advance magazine and on the AOTA website for continuing education.

If you have questions about registration, please call Missy at 989-964-4048.

If you have questions about the course content, call Dr McPhee at 615-414-8473.

You can register for this course on line at Saginaw Valley State University or call (989) 964-4048. For more information about the program, call 615-414-8473. I hope this information has been helpful to you.


Scott McPhee, DrPH, CPAM, OTR/L, FAOTA
Executive Director