PAMS Certification Course

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

Register for Full Course (Web Course & Live Webinar)

Registration for the October 16-17, 2021 course is now closed.

Register for Web Course Only

$325.00Select options


October 16 & 17, 2021
Saturday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm EST
Sunday 8:00 am – 12:00 pm EST


100% Virtual
Live Webinar – live/synchronous learning via Zoom
Web Course – distance learning via RHT web platform

Course Cost:

$475 for Full Course (Web course & Live webinar)
$325 for Web Course Only


24 continuing education contact hours for the Full Course

12 hours for the Web Course Only


Willow Henry, PT, DPT, CWS, CLT

Lisa Owen, MS, OTR/L, CLT, CHT

Target Audience/Educational Level:

OTs, COTAs, but a great review for PTs, PTAs, and CHTs

Introductory course but mixed learner levels (novice to advanced) are welcome!

Right Hand Therapy is an AOTA Approved Provider of
professional development – 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 Full Course consists of a web-based component, and a 2-day live webinar for lab demonstration and practice opportunities.  Access to modality equipment including TENS, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and iontophoresis is requiredAll participants are responsible for providing their own lab supplies including 2 x 2 & 2 x 4 e-stim electrodes, iontophoresis electrodes, IontoPatch (if able) and US gel.  Please contact us with any questions or concerns; equipment rental is available on a limited basis.  This course includes 15 hrs in electrical stimulation education, 7 hours in ultrasound education, and 2 hours education in superficial thermal agents.


Looking for just a refresher course?

Additional option includes completing the Web Course Only.

Download course brochure here:  RHT PAMs Webinar brochure Oct 2021

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 and demonstrate 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 and demonstrate appropriate PAMs and list the clinical rationale/indications to prepare patients for engagement in functional activity.
  • Learning outcomes will be assessed during live webinar via observation and demonstration of skills, as well as via a pre- and post-test in web course.

What to Expect

Participants registered for the Full Course will have the option of receiving their course materials in either a 100% digital or printed format.  Digital materials include access to the course within 24-48 hours including the PAMs textbook, handouts, and web course access.  Printed materials are mailed and delivered typically within 1-2 weeks of registration including the PAMs textbook, binder with handouts, and web course access.  Note: 2 weeks prior to the course, registration with digital materials will be the only option available to participants.  All participants are responsible for providing their own lab supplies including 2 x 2 & 2 x 4 e-stim electrodes, iontophoresis electrodes, IontoPatch (if able) and US gel.  Course materials are designed 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 webinar.  Participants complete the Full Course following successful demonstration of skills throughout the live webinar.  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.

Additional Options Include:

Web Course Only Option:  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 superficial hot/cold modalities.

How to Prepare for the Live Webinar

Participants will need a computer or device with reliable internet access and web camera/microphone. Access to modality equipment including TENS, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and iontophoresis is required. Please identify a comfortable and quiet space with good lighting. If possible (but optional), identify a partner in your home that you can work on throughout the course to practice appropriate client positioning. Participants (and their partner, if applicable) should dress comfortably and in layers to permit access to pertinent anatomy (tank top, etc).

Please have the following materials available:

  • your binder, textbook and lab packet
  • a towel, facecloth, paper towels and 1-2 pillows

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 more than 21 days prior to the live course (less $350 for the web course component if Full Course). No refunds provided for cancellations within 21 days of a live webinar. Right Hand Therapy reserves the right to reschedule a live webinar with fewer than 6 participants. In this event, a rescheduled workshop will be offered within 3-4 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
  • US/e-stim combination therapy

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: 4 hrs
Total portion of workshop covering Electrical Stimulation Modalities: 8 hrs

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: