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Physical Agent Modalities in Occupational Therapy

Physical Agent Modalities in Occupational Therapy – Dennis M., Occupational Therapist

When I first started thinking about becoming a traveling Occupational Therapist, I had to consider licensure requirements for each state that I wanted to take an assignment. I discovered that multiple states had competencies in Physical Agent Modalities (PAM) before one could legally use them in any patient setting. Many of the states with existing laws have strengthened or expanded their licensing laws; such as California, New Hampshire, Nebraska, Montana, South Dakota and Kentucky. Many of the new state requirements specify a certain number of hours of continuing education, as well as a certain number of clinical applications in order to meet licensing requirements. These added requirements were due in response to concerns regarding competency and preparation of Occupational Therapists.

Local, state or institutional regulation & guidelines supersede the AOTA position statement on Physical Agent Modalities. Therapists should be aware of the regulations specific to each state regarding the use of Physical Agent Modalities in each specific setting. Some of the ways one could obtain continuing education on Physical Agent Modalities in this therapy experience is attending a regular scheduled weekend course, such as PAMPCA (Physical Agent Modality Credentialing Course for the Occupational therapy practitioner), at the following Web address: www.pampca.org. Also, another Web site is www.treatment2go.com, which offers further training in modalities. Another option might be ACP (Accelerated Care Plus) which regularly trains Occupational and Physical therapists in use of their specific modalities.

Also, the Kentucky Occupational Therapy Association has an 18-hour DPAMS seminar planned for 11/9-11, 2012 and you can visit the following Web site for more information: www.kotaweb.org. One will need to check each individual state requirement before considering any of these options. References for further study are as follows: AOTA Position Paper; NBCOT Therapy Practice Analysis, academic requirements in each Occupational Therapy School, AJOT (American Journal of Occupational Therapy), State regulatory guidelines; AOTA state issue update, Physical Agent Modalities: Theory & Application for the Occupational Therapist 2nd edition by Alfred G. Bracciano EdD; Physical Agents in Rehabilitation: From Research to Practice 4th edition by Michelle H. Cameronn MD PT OCS.