PA Approved Direct Access Physical Therapy Continuing Education FAQ

continuing education requirements for pa physical therapists Direct access to physical therapy is now available in nearly every state in the US. States like Pennsylvania and Virginia, Iowa and Kentucky who offer direct access, require their DA PTs to complete rigorous direct access continuing education in order to maintain certification. Below we've answered a few of the more common questions we receive about continuing education requirements for PA physical therapists holding direct access certification.

What are the “Direct Access” physical therapy continuing education requirements for Pennsylvania?

Beginning after the first renewal of the certificate of authorization, a physical therapist shall have completed during the preceding biennium a minimum of 30 contact hours of approved continuing education related to keeping the certificate holder apprised of advancements and new developments in the practice of the physical therapy profession. At least 10 of the 30 contact hours shall be in evaluative procedures to treat a person without a referral.

What are Evaluative Procedures?

Evaluative procedures arm physical therapists with the skills to better determine patients whether a patient needs to be referred to an alternate health professional is required. Evaluative procedures include orthopedic physical assessment, differential diagnosis and pathology.

Why are evaluative procedures so important to direct access PTs’ continuing education requirements?

Physical therapists in direct access states like Pennsylvania can ensure that their evaluative skills remain sharp and up to date with continuing education courses that focus directly on Evaluative Procedures. Proper diagnosis skills evaluate a patient's condition, assess his or her physical therapy needs and, if appropriate, safely and effectively treat the patient. In addition, as part of the ongoing effort to remove limitations to direct access in all states, it is vital that cases of misdiagnosis remain extremely rare. Learn more here.

What is Differential Diagnosis?

Differential diagnosis provides therapists with a consistent way to screen for systemic diseases and medical conditions that can mimic neuromuscular and musculoskeletal problems.There are a few things that direct access physical therapy professionals (and those interested in certification) need to know about differential diagnosis. Learn more here.

What is Orthopedic Physical Assessment?

Orthopedic physical assessment is a systematic approach to performing a neuromusculoskeletal assessment. The purpose of this assessment is to fully and clearly understand the patient’s problems, from the patient’s perspective as well as the clinician’s, and the physical basis for the symptoms that have caused the patient to complain.

What is Pathology?

Pathology offers guidelines, precautions, and contraindications for interventions with patients who have musculoskeletal or neuromuscular problems as well as other conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or pancreatitis. PTs with Direct Access certification must be knowledgeable of the impact other conditions and diseases have on the individual’s neuromusculoskeletal system and the necessary steps that must be taken to provide safe, effective treatment.

Where can I find PA PT approved courses? courses are PA state board of physical therapy approved continuing education courses. You can find a full list of approved PA PT courses here.

Are there any promo codes or deals offers for PA Direct Access PTs

Yes! Take advantage of our promo for Pennsylvania Direct Access physical therapy continuing education here.
This article was written by Amy-Lynn Corey

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