Operation SOAP note 211 pdf


PTA 211 Physical Agents           

                                                  Barbara J. Behrens PTA, MS

                                                            Course Director

                                                                     MS 350


Course Number
   PTA 211
Course Title
   Physical Agents
Credit Hours
Contact Hours in Semester    45/30
Number of Weeks     11 (due to 4 week interruption by Clinical Ed I)
Format     Lecture/Lab
Pre-requisite course(s)

   PTA 107 Therapeutic Measurement

   PTA 112 Pathology

   MAT requirement

Co-requisite Course(s)


   PTA 224 Clinical Ed I

   PTA 226 PTA Seminar I

Division of Health Professions     PTA Program Faculty

All PTA Program Professional Phase courses may only be attempted twice and the minimum passing grade is a C+.

Course Grading

Assessment Activity

% of grade
Number within semester
Generic Abilities
Practical exam **
Competency tests *

* Please note that competency tests take place outside of class time

** In the event that a student/learner is unsuccessful in passing the practical examination on the second attempt, the student/learner will not receive a passing score for the course.  Please refer to the “Practical Examinations” section of the PTAP Student/Learner Handbook.


Generic Abilities Assessment (10% of overall course grade)

Generic abilities include a collection of behaviors that in addition to knowledge and skills are considered important for student/learners to be successful as future employees in the healthcare environment.

Adapted from  May, et. al.  Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 9:1, Spring, 1995



Commitment to Learning

- Consistently attends the entirety of all classes and/or lab sessions and if unable to attend class, proactively assumes responsibility for learning by contacting the course instructor via email to alert her of the absence or reason for early departure which would result in disruption of the learning for that day

Communication Skills

-Is respectful to classmates, guest speakers, and faculty members in all forms of communication   (verbal, non-verbal, written, email, etc.)

- uses correct grammar, accurate spelling and expression, writes legibly


- comes to class prepared to start on time and if unable to start class/lab on time then proactively contacts the course instructor via email  to alert her of the lateness and finding out whatever work might need to be made up from a classmate


-is aware of and accepts responsibility for his/her own work and progress within a course which includes awareness of the impact of assignment grades on overall course grade

- discusses confidential concerns with course instructor including but not limited to grades having considered potential strategies for self-improvement




Behrens, BJ, Beinert H, Physical Agents Theory & Practice 3rd. Ed. (2014) FA Davis Co.


ISBN 13- 978-0803638167


Course Description:

                Study of physical agents and therapeutic modalities in physical therapy practice.  Lab and lecture activities develop problem- solving and critical thinkingskills for the use of electrical stimulation, heat, cold, traction and hydrotherapy for therapeutic interventions. Competencies evaluated throughout the semester.   



Course Goals:

Following the successful completion of this course with a grade of C+ or higher, the learner will be able to:

  1. Safely and appropriately apply physical agents and electrical stimulation for the accomplishment of therapeutic treatment goals including: the reduction of pain, edema, joint stiffness and muscle guarding and increasing circulation, muscle strength and tissue extensibility.
  2. Determine what the potential causes and remedies would be for undesirable patient responses to the application of physical agents and electrical stimulation for the accomplishment of therapeutic treatment goals and make appropriate decisions and adjustments in the application to maintain patient safety.
  3. Critically discuss the available literature dealing with physical agents relating the relevance of what is published with current practice patterns in the clinical setting.
  4. Safely and appropriately apply cervical and or lumbar mechanical traction for the accomplishment of therapeutic treatment goals including the reduction of nerve root radiculopathies and disc compression.
  5. Differentiate between the advantages and disadvantages of a buoyant environment for a therapeutic exercise program versus a land environment and how one could safely progress a patient with partial weight bearing status working on an endurance program in the aquatic environment.


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