What Education Does A Physical Therapist Need – If you are a PT or PTA, you know that you have to renew your license every few years. But the specifics of that license renewal process are different in each state, with most states requiring a certain amount of physical therapy continuing education.
In this article, I will use examples of PT CEU requirements from 3 states to give you an idea of what the license renewal process may involve. But your best bet is to check with your state’s Board of Physical Therapy website to determine your physical therapy continuing education needs. They are not just state specific, they can change from year to year.
What Education Does A Physical Therapist Need
To renew your license, you must fill out a form and pay a fee. But to complete your application, in most cases you must also show that you have completed continuous training, measured in “contact hours”. Your state’s Board of Physical Therapy determines the number of contact hours and any other specifics, such as format, topic or provider, and disciplinary action if you do not meet the requirements.
How Much Does Physical Therapy Cost?
To maintain an active license in NY, each PT or PTA must complete 36 contact hours of continuing education every three years. The deadline for renewing the registration is the last day of the month of birth of the license.
The only exception to this schedule is for new licensees who, unless they registered in their birth month, will lose a few months of their first 3-year period in order for the renewal to be in line with their birth month. And it’s prorated, so new licensees only need to complete one hour of CE per month in the initial registration period.
PTs and PTAs in Colorado are under a 2-year license renewal cycle. By October 31st of even-numbered years (years ending in an even number, such as 2022, 2024, 2026, etc.), PTs must complete 30 contact hours and PTAs must complete 20 EC contact hours.
PTs and PTAs can skip their first renewal date if they obtained their license within 120 days of October 31st in an even-numbered year.
Understanding Physical Therapy Degrees
In Nevada, PTs and PTAs renew their licenses annually. By July 31 of each year, licensees must complete 15 contact hours of continuing education. Any PT or PTA who obtained their license between the dates of February 1st and July 31st will be exempt from the continuing education requirements for the first year license renewal.
In this post, I’ve stuck to the simple terms of “contact hours” for consistency, but the truth is that your state may use different terms in its practice act.
In general, contact hour refers to the amount of time you will spend participating in your continuing education, whether it is a course or a conference or something else. Think of it as one credit hour from school.
Some states measure their continuing education requirements in contact hours, while others refer to something else as educational units.
Education Series: Physical Therapist Presentation
In New York, one contact hour is equivalent to “50 minutes of organized learning.” Technically, a unit of Continuing Education is equivalent to 10 contact hours, and New Yorkers need 3.6 units every 3 years. They also consider licenses good for life unless suspended, revoked or revoked. It is a registration that is good for only 3 years.
Colorado measures continuing education in “Professional Development Activity” (PDA) hours. In this case, one contact hour equals one PDA hour.
For PTs and PTAs in Nevada, every ten contact hours equals one CCU, or Continuing Competency Unit. This means that PTs need 1.5 units, or 15 contact hours, to complete the requirements.
PT boards across the country recognize various activities as continuing education opportunities or continuing expertise, depending on the terminology. For example, you can earn your continuing education by taking a course, attending a lecture, or completing an advanced certification or residency.
Physical Therapist Continuing Education (ce) Requirements By State
In general, course content must be related to physical therapy and provided by a reputable source approved by the board, unless otherwise stated. For more specific requirements, you should check with your board’s website. Here are some of the details behind our three examples of state CE requirements.
PTs or PTAs in New York can try a number of ways to fulfill their continuing education requirements, including teaching or presenting a CEU course, writing a chapter in a peer-reviewed journal, completing a clinical residency, or supervising a student in their clinical rotations. . . You can find the equivalent values in contact hours for each of these activities on the council’s website.
If you are taking the course, then your CEUs must be administered by providers that the board has already approved (check the list of approved providers here). They also require that the topic be relevant to physical therapy, ranging from clinical interventions and communications with patients to legal and ethical issues.
When it comes to the format of your CEU courses, New York has no restrictions for online or self-taught courses. This means you can complete all 36 of your required hours online if you prefer.
How To Start A Physical Therapy Clinic In 2023
The PT Board in Colorado has a unique approach to license renewal. In addition to using the term “Professional Development Activities,” the board requires licensees to develop their own Learning Plan using a Reflective Self-Assessment Tool. They are then encouraged to look for PDAs in activities and subjects that will satisfy their Personal Learning Plan.
There are two categories of PDA in Colorado: 1) Educational courses, Fellowships or Residences; and 2) Other Professional Development Activities, including research presentations, publications and volunteer service. For PTAs, at least 15 of the required hours must be in the first category, while PTs must complete at least 20 of their 30 hours in Educational Courses, Fellowships or Residencies.
Unlike New York, the Colorado PT Board allows independent study and study clubs to count toward the PDA requirement. Although not pre-approved courses or providers, they require that all activities coincide with their list of Professional Development Activities, with some exceptions.
The Nevada Board of Physical Therapy recognizes continuing education in three broad categories: certified activities, advanced skills and professional activities.
Clinical Education At Pro~pt
If you are a physical therapist assistant, then your continuing education requirements are likely very similar to a PT. Many states are reducing the number of continuing education courses for PTAs, but still maintaining the same standards for CEU providers and accreditation.
Check with your state board to make sure you meet and do not exceed their requirements, unless you choose to take additional courses for your own professional development.
No matter where your clinical practice is located, you have many options for completing continuing education courses. Technology has enabled many platforms and formats that make license renewal interesting and easy.
Perhaps the most popular route to completing continuing education is online through a variety of CEU providers. Usually these classes involve watching pre-recorded lectures, reading prescribed literature and completing online assessments.
Physical Therapist Resume Examples & Writing Tips 2023 (free Guide)
For a more old school approach, you can take CEU courses in person. Whether it’s a weekend seminar or an evening class, in-person courses provide a hands-on, interactive experience that online alternatives can’t quite replicate. It’s a great way to improve your hands-on approach to patient care.
The best of both worlds, live webinars offer an interactive approach to distance learning. In most cases, you will be able to send questions to the instructor and chat with other participants in the webinar.
CEU courses don’t always come in predictable packages, and sometimes they’re free. Check with your employer if they offer complementary, even obscure, continuing education courses such as safety training or identification of victims of human trafficking, a mandatory course in many states.
In my opinion, cheap or free CEUs are only good in a pinch. It is much better to find a reputable source of high quality continuing education. After all, this is your professional development; why not pursue content that is interesting and enriching for your physical therapy career?
Are Physical Therapist A Doctors?
Of all the CEU providers I have used in my time as a licensed PT, one stands out among the rest: MedBridge Education. Their extensive course library offers a wide variety of relevant content from some of the best instructors in the field. As a leading provider of online CEUs, MedBridge courses are rich, using an intuitive, easy-to-navigate and mobile learning platform.
When it comes to state continuing education requirements, MedBridge clears up the confusion for you. Simply enter your profession and your state, and MedBridge will filter its course offerings from those that qualify for your license renewal. New APTA-accredited courses are added every month, so you’re sure to find something you like and need.
In addition to CEU courses, MedBridge hosts live webinars every few weeks, providing an interactive element to complete your learning at your own pace. For PTs considering advanced certification, MedBridge also offers certification preparation courses specifically tailored for certification exams, such as SCS, NCS, or OCS.
In addition to meeting all of your continuing education needs, MedBridge can also support your career through its In-House Practice Program. I use it every day in the clinic to build a personalized plan for each of my patients from over 7,000 video demonstrations in the HEP library. It not only saves time and words, but it helps to improve