Please enable JavaScript to view this page.

Physical Agents I

PTA 105

Physical Agents I

PTA 105

Course Description

Prerequisite: Admission to the Physical Therapist Assistant program. Concurrent enrollment in PTA 101, PTA 101LW, PTA 105LW, PTA 110, PTA 110L, ENG113, and LW 206A. Provides the theory and principles of modalities including, but not limited to, hydrotherapy, therapeutic massage, thermal agents, ultrasound, traction, intermittent compression, and cryotherapy. Prepares the student to perform physical therapy intervention as part of a physical therapist's plan of care, under the direction and supervision of the physical therapist. (30-0)

Outcomes and Objectives

Utilize appropriate medical documentation to thoroughly document all aspects of patient care.

Objectives:

  • Describe the SOAP note format.
  • Correctly identify which category medical information is placed in, within the SOAP note.

Demonstrate understanding of the theory of ultraviolet and its application to patient treatment.

Objectives:

  • Explain the physiological effects of ultraviolet.
  • List the indications, contraindications, and precautions of ultraviolet radiation use in humans.
  • Describe the purpose of the minimal erythermal dose (MED) in use with UV radiation.

Demonstrate understanding of the theory of diathermy and its application to patient treatment.

Objectives:

  • Explain the theory of diathermy.
  • List the indications, contraindications, and precautions of diathermy use in humans.

Demonstrate understanding of the theory of infrared radiations and its application to patient treatment.

Objectives:

  • List the physiological effects of infrared.
  • Distinguish between the indications, contraindications, and precautions of infrared radiation use in humans.

Demonstrate understanding of the theory of intermittent pneumatic compression and its application to patient treatment.

Objectives:

  • Identify the physiological effects of intermittent compression on human tissue.
  • Explain the theory behind intermittent pneumatic compression.
  • List the indications, contraindications, and precautions for intermittent pneumatic compression use in humans.
  • Describe the general function of the lymphatic system and the effects of abnormal conditions of the lymphatic system on human tissue.
  • Describe various lymphedema techniques other than intermittent pneumatic compression to decrease edema.

Demonstrate understanding of the theory of aquatherapy and its application to patient treatment.

Objectives:

  • Define and discuss the properties of water and the clinical relevance of these properties for physical therapy treatments including:
  • Discuss the benefits of buoyancy on early weightbearing for various conditions.
  • Relate how various water depths to estimated percentage of body weight placed on the lower extremities can assist in progression of treatment.
  • Discuss the parameters of the aquatherapy environment for optimal therapeutic benefit.
  • Discuss the overall physiological effects of aquatherapy on the body.

Demonstrate understanding of current physical therapy literature related to the use of physical agents.

Objectives:

  • Given a specific agent to research, find professional journal articles that have determined the effectiveness of various agents used currently in the physical therapy setting.
  • Summarize current literature in a 2-3 page paper.

Discuss potential legal and ethical issues pertaining to course content.

Objectives:

  • Describe an appropriate response to each legal/ethical clinical issue discussed in class.

Use appropriate action in emergency situations.

Objectives:

  • Initiate BLS procedures during mock emergency scenarios.
  • Participate in mock disaster drills.

Demonstrate understanding of the basics of energy transfer and how various physical agents affect human tissue.

Objectives:

  • Differentiate between treatments which affect superficial and deep tissues of the human body.
  • Differentiate between the different modes of heat transfer including evaporation, convection, conduction, radiation, and conversion.
  • Give specific examples of common physical agents and their mode of heat transfer.

Demonstrate understanding of the theory of moist heat and its application to patient treatment.

Objectives:

  • List the physiological effects of heat.
  • List the indications, contraindications, and precautions for usage of moist heat on patients.
  • Discuss the mode of heat transfer that occurs with moist heat.

Demonstrate understanding of the theory of cryotherapy and its application to patient treatment.

Objectives:

  • List the physiological effects of cold.
  • Distinguish between the indications, contraindications, and precautions for usage of cryotherapy on patient.
  • Discuss the mode of heat transfer with cryotherapy.
  • Discuss the physiological effects of contrast bath procedure on human tissue.

Demonstrate understanding of the theory of ultrasound and its application to patient treatment.

Objectives:

  • List the physiological effects of ultrasound.
  • List the indications, contraindications, and precautions for ultrasound use in humans.
  • Distinguish between the indications, contraindications, and precautions for usage of ultrasound on patients.
  • Discuss the mode of heat transfer that occurs with ultrasound.
  • Compare and contrast the different mediums utilized with ultrasound including gel, water, lotion, and medicated cream.
  • Differentiate between the use of continuous versus pulsed ultrasound duty cycles and its effect on human tissues.
  • Provide rationale of use of different size ultrasound heads.
  • Differentiate between the use of 1 Mhz and 3 Mhz frequencies and its effect on human tissue.
  • Describe effective radiating area (ERA) and beam nonuniformity ratio (BNR)

Demonstrate understanding of the theory of therapeutic massage and its application to patient treatment.

Objectives:

  • Define massage.
  • State the physiological theory behind massage.
  • Describe each of the following massage techniques and its effect on human tissue:
  • List the indications, contraindications, and precautions for massage use in humans.
  • Describe and provide rationale for each of the medium options for massage:

Demonstrate understanding of the theory of paraffin and its application to patient treatment.

Objectives:

  • Define paraffin.
  • Explain the theory of paraffin.
  • List the physiological effects of paraffin.
  • List the indications, contraindications, and precautions for paraffin use in humans.

Demonstrate understanding of the theory of pelvic and cervical traction and its application in patient treatment.

Objectives:

  • Explain the effects and purpose of traction.
  • Identify the different types of spinal traction:
  • List the indications, contraindications, and precautions for mechanical and manual traction use in humans.

Demonstrate understanding of the theory of hydrotherapy and the application to patient treatment.

Objectives:

  • Define hydrotherapy.
  • Describe hydrotherapy equipment and the rationale for its use.
  • List the physiological effects of hydrotherapy.
  • List the indications, contraindications, and precautions for hydrotherapy use with humans.
  • List the specific temperature protocols for various problems encountered in physical therapy.
  • Recognize the need for direct versus indirect agitation in various diagnosis/conditions.