PAMS Certification Course

Physical Agent Modalities (PAMs) for Occupational Therapy Practitioners: Preparation for Certification

Registration for Full Course CLOSED (due to COVID-19)

$475.00Add to cart

Register for 2-Day Live Workshop Only CLOSED (due to COVID-19)

Register for Web Course Only

$325.00Add to cart


October 17 & 18, 2020
Saturday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday 8:00 am – 12:00 pm


670 North Commercial Street, Suite 301
Manchester, NH 03101

Course Cost:

$475 for Full Course
$325 for 2-day Live Workshop or Web Course Only options


24 continuing education contact hours for the Full Course, 12 hours for 2-day Live Workshop or Web Course Only options)


Willow Henry, PT, DPT, CWS, CLT

Target Audience/Educational Level:

OTs, COTAs, but a great review for PTs, PTAs, and CHTs/Mixed learner levels (novice to advanced) are welcome

Right Hand Therapy is an AOTA Approved Provider of continuing education – Provider #11677.  AOTA does not endorse specific course content, products, or clinical procedures.

Physical agent modalities (PAMs) can be a valuable adjunct treatment to enhance outcomes of patients receiving therapy services. This course is geared toward OT practitioners and aims to educate the therapist in how to incorporate safe and effective application of PAMs into their current clinical practice. The prep for certification course consists of a web-based component, and a 2-day live workshop for lab demonstration and practice opportunities. This course follows NH state guidelines for PAMs certification including the required 15 hrs in electrical stimulation education, and 6 hours in ultrasound education (Note: participants will still have to complete supervision requirements following the course to apply for NH state PAMs certification). Bonus material includes review of clinical application for hot and cold modalities.

Looking for just a refresher course?

Additional options include attending the 2-day Live Workshop or Web Course Only. (Attending the Live Workshop Only option is recommended for therapists with previous PAMs experience only.)

Download course brochure here:

Course Objectives:

Following the course, participants will be able to:

  • Name Physical Agent Modality (PAM) terminology.
  • Recognize biophysical principles of application of PAMs.
  • Identify the physiologic response of tissue to application of PAMs.
  • Select the appropriate clinical use and parameters for application of PAMs.
  • Name contraindications, precautions, and warnings for safe use of PAMs.
  • Identify how to modulate parameters to achieve the desired effect of PAMs that will support and prepare a patient for engagement in occupational activities.
  • Identify the safe use and maintenance of PAMs equipment and topical medications.
  • List patient education about PAMs risks, benefits, and application.
  • Identify appropriate PAMs and list the clinical rationale/indications to prepare patients for engagement in functional activity.
  • Learning outcomes will be assessed during hands-on lab sessions via observation and demonstration of skills, as well as via a pre- and post-test.

What to Expect

Participants registered for the full course will receive a packet in advance of the course which includes access to the web course, a PAMs textbook and study binder to maximize the learning process and assist with the web-based learning module. Participants must pass the post-test of this module with a score of 75% before attending the live workshop*.  A certificate of
completion will be issued to all participants completing this CEU requirement.  Class size is limited to ensure ample opportunities for individual instruction and practice.

*Participants who are currently using PAMs in their practice may be able to take the web-based learning module after the live workshop. Please email for more details.

Additional Options Include:

2-day Live Workshop Only Option:  2-day (12 CEU) live workshop that includes handouts (textbook available for purchase at the course).

Web Course Only Option (NEW!):  12 CEU distance learning/web course that includes a textbook, binder and handouts.  Course provides 3 hours of education on ultrasound, 7 hours of education on electrical stimulation (IFC, TENS, NMES, FES, HVPC/HVGS, Iontophoresis, Combination Therapy), and 2 hours on hot/cold modalities.

What to Bring

For participants of the full course please bring the materials from your packet (binder and textbook) to the workshop each day. Participants should dress comfortably, but in layers to permit access of pertinent UE anatomy (tank top, sports bra, sweatshirt, etc). Please bring a towel, facecloth, and sheet each day.

ADA and Special Requests:

Please contact Right Hand prior to purchase to discuss any particular needs and/or requests.

Cancellation Policy

Participants must notify Right Hand Therapy regarding all requests for cancellation via phone or email. No cancellations or refunds provided for Web Course Only registrations. Partial refunds will be provided for cancellation of Full Course and Live Workshop Only registrations more than 21 days prior to the live course (less $325 for the web course component if Full Course). No refunds provided for cancellations within 21 days of a live workshop. Right Hand Therapy reserves the right to reschedule a live workshop with fewer than 6 participants. In this event, a rescheduled workshop will be offered within 3 months of the originally scheduled date.

Cold Modalities

Physical Principles of Tissue Cooling
Types of Cold Modalities
Contraindications and Precautions
Clinical Indications/Applications/Decision Making

Heat Modalities

Physical Principles of Tissue Heating
Types of Heat Modalities
Contraindications and Precautions
Clinical Indications/Applications/Decision Making


Physical Principles of Ultrasound
Thermal Effects
Subthermal Effects
Physiologic Response to Sound Waves
Contraindications and Precautions
Treatment Parameters
Alternative US Applications (phono, water)

Electrical Stimulation

Physical Principles of Electricity
Types of Waveforms and Currents
Physiologic Response to Electrical Current
Contraindications and Precautions
Types of Electrical Stimulation (NMES, HV, TENS, IFC)
Treatment Parameters

Clinical Indications/Decision Making for Use of PAMs

Loss of Motion
Tissue Healing (inflammation, wounds)

Total time spent taking online course: 12 hrs
Total portion of online course covering Ultrasound Modalities: 3 hrs
Total portion of online course covering Electrical Stimulation Modalities: 7 hrs
Total portion of online course covering Hot/Cold Modalities: 2 hrs

Day 1   8:00 am – 5:00 pm

8:00 to 9:00 EStim Indications, Parameters, Application
9:00 to 11:00 EStim Lab

  • Getting to know the Estim unit
  • Application, set up, and practice

11:00 to 11:30 Iontophoresis Indications, Parameters, Application
11:30 to 12:00 Iontophoresis Lab

  • Getting to know the Ionto unit
  • Application, set up, and practice

12:00 to 1:00 Lunch on your own
1:00 to 1:30 TENS Indications, Parameters, Application
1:30 to 2:45 TENS Lab

  • Getting to know the TENS unit
  • Application, set up, and practice

2:45 to 3:45 Clinical Decision Making/Case Studies (Estim, Ionto, TENS)
3:45 to 4:45 Review of PAMs Documentation
4:45 to 5:00 Questions/Wrap up

Day 2  8:00 am – 12:00 pm

8:00 to 9:00 Ultrasound Indications, Parameters, Application
9:00 to 11:00 Ultrasound Lab

  • Getting to know the Ultrasound unit
  • Application, set up, and practice
  • Pulsed
  • Continuous
  • Water immersion technique
  • Phonophoresis

11:00 to 11:45 Clinical Decision Making/Case Studies (Ultrasound)
11:45 to 12:00 Questions/Wrap Up

Total time attending live workshop: 12 hrs
Total portion of workshop covering Ultrasound Modalities: 3 hrs
Total portion of workshop covering Electrical Stimulation Modalities: 8 hrs
Total portion of workshop covering Hot/Cold Modalities and Documentation: 1 hr

“Nice combination of lecture and hands on – liked the case studies” – Andrea B.

“I’m now confident to try modalities with my patients and potentially improve my outcomes” – Leah M.

“I like the hands on portion with the modalities and being able to have the instructors there to give feedback.” – Carrie A.

“Exceeded my expectations – I learned SO much more than I thought. I was doing a lot wrong! eek!” – Amy G.

“Exceeded expectations – the total package of learning from background to parameters. Loved the hands on and case studies. I don’t know how PAMs could be exclusively online training.” – Melanie G.

“Very informative and helpful. I am a hands on learner so having equipment to try – both for the learning and setup and experiencing the sensation of being the patient was invaluable!” – Lisa B.

1. What is the requirement for New Hampshire (NH) state PAMs Certification?

The NH OT Governing Board requires any individual applying for NH PAMs Certification to be licensed in NH as an OT or COTA.  The state requires 6 hours education in ultrasound modalities and 15 hours in electrical stimulation (21 hours total).  There is an additional supervision form that must be completed.  Please see the state website for more information:

2. I am very interested in becoming PAMs certified however it is unclear to me if any supervision hours will be required by another clinician after the course. Or will I be able to start treating?

The course provides participants with all the necessary education to submit for PAMs certification in the state of NH (21 hours of PAMs education). It does not provide supervision due to the individual nature of one achieving proficiency.  NH state requires that a supervisor (either PT or OT) watch you properly apply PAMs and sign their supervision form attesting to your ability to perform the skills independently.

3. Is there a PAMs Certification requirement in Massachusetts?

Currently there is no PAMs Certification requirement in Massachusetts (of which we are aware).  MA does require that any therapeutic procedures provided must be consistent with the individual’s level of competence.

4. I am not licensed in New Hampshire, but in Massachusetts. I do not need the certification for my license renewal. But is there a benefit to a certification?

It is important to emphasize that this course does not provide any “Certification”.  This course provides “Preparation for Certification”.  Even if you have no plans to work in NH, the benefit of this course is to obtain a higher level of proficiency and confidence incorporating the safe and effective use of PAMs into your practice.  As a clinician who has worked in both MA and NH, I am very appreciative of my PAMs education because I did not receive a lot of training in PAMs in OT school. I learned most everything “on the job” and my first job out of school was in MA. But after I started working in NH and took the required coursework for NH certification I realized that I had been using PAMs incorrectly. From a patient safety perspective, I am so happy I did the additional training/education!

5.  Are parameters for certain diagnoses covered?

The course options we offer are designed to meet a variety of needs.  Parameters for certain diagnoses and stages of tissue healing are covered, as well as case studies consisting of diagnoses such as tendon repairs, epicondylitis, CVA, and fractures, among others.  The Full Course option gives clinicians a well-rounded education in PAMs including the required education for PAMs certification in NH (21 hrs), as well as hands on experience practicing using PAMs.  The 2-day Live Workshop Only option is designed for therapists who have previous experience and education in PAMs, but are looking for a hands-on refresher course with practice opportunities.  This option is available with and without a textbook.  The Web Course Only option is available for therapists who are seeking NH PAMs certification, but cannot attend the Full Course for any reason.  This option provides the therapist with 3 hours toward ultrasound education and 7 hours toward e-stim education (the remaining 2 hours covers the use of hot/cold modalities).

6.  Can I take this course if I am licensed in MA but not NH?

Yes.  This course is open to any practitioner (OT, COTA, PT, PTA etc) who is licensed in any state.  If you are planning to apply for NH PAMs Certification, however, you must be licensed (or qualifying for licensure) in NH.

7.  Is this certification recognized in Massachusetts?

No.  This is not a certification course.  This course was designed to fill a need in NH state to help therapists obtain their NH PAMs Certification.  The course is purposefully titled “Preparation for Certification” because our goal is to provide the therapist with all the necessary education required by NH state to safely and effectively use PAMs to enhance a patients functioning (within their scope of practice).

8.  Can I take this course if I am a COTA?

Yes!  We have had several COTAs take this course.

9.  Who can supervise me?  Does it have to be an OT or can a PT supervise me?

OT practitioners who would like to apply for NH PAMs Certification must include a supervision form in their application.  This form may be completed by a therapist authorized by the regulatory body of another state to apply ultrasound and electrical stimulation modalities; an individual currently licensed in NH as a physical therapist; or an OT licensed in NH who holds a PAMs certificate.


Disclaimer:  Right Hand Therapy, LLC is not affiliated with the NH Occupational Therapy Governing Board.  This course and information relating to this course is provided as a service only.  Right Hand Therapy disclaims any liability for any damage, mishap or injury that may occur from use of this information.  Please refer to “PART Occ 305  CERTIFICATION FOR THE USE OF PHYSICAL AGENT MODALITIES” on the NH state website for official information on NH state PAMs Certification: