i 2.00 Hours

Course Overview

Physical therapy professionals are constantly confronted with a variety of ethical and moral dilemmas. Their decisions, and even their failures to make decisions, can have long-range effects professionally and personally for providers, patients, healthcare entities, and for society as a whole. Why does one value win out over another? What does the decision process involve? How do these decisions impact those involved? Directed to Physical Therapists (PT) and Physical Therapist Assistants (PTA), this entry-level course will address ethical and moral dilemmas, the decision processes, and posit multiple ethical case studies. This course aims to assist the PT professional in understanding their ethical responsibilities as well as regulations that govern PT practice in the state of Indiana.

About the Course Author

Andrea Salzman, MS, PT graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a Masters degree in physical therapy. Between 1996-2017, Salzman has instructed 100+ live instructions related to aquatic therapy and over 25 online courses related to geriatric therapy, ethics, and aquatic therapy. Her interest in topics related to scope of practice and ethics boundaries began in PT school where she served on a student-led honor council in a model which required its members to pass judgements on multiple ethics violations by peers. Between 1995-1998, Salzman served as Editor-in-Chief of an APTA section journal related to aquatic therapy, probing ethical topics within her Editor's column, such as "shading minutes" or refusing to allow patients to refuse PT in order to maintain Medicare Part A coverage. Between 1995-2002, Salzman served as a Lead Therapist and a PT Manager in both skilled nursing and hospital settings, roles which required her to provide inservice training as mandated by Joint Commission, including the use of the case study as a decision-making tool. In 2002, Advance for PT Magazine asked Salzman to create, referee and publish a series of point:counterpoint argumentative columns devoted to exploring hot button topics related to the ethical practice of physical therapy. Within this monthly column, "We Debate: You Decide", Salzman created a venue for 2 PT professionals to argue the merits of diametrically-opposed ethical stands on PT-related topics. In 2005, Salzman began serving as Vice President of 10K Rehab Corps, a temporary staffing company with an emphasis on providing on-call staff for the SNF and home health settings. One of her initial roles for this start-up company was the creation of policies on ethical standards for hiring and practice in the field. In 2009, Salzman began serving as the Director of Programming for Aquatic Therapy University (ATU) and in that role, has created over 500 hours of live instructionals for the post-graduate therapist. Salzman has spearheaded ATU's move towards obtaining PT continuing education credits through the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy, a move which required her to ensure the company met the intellectual property, ethical, disability access and diversity standards established by FSBPT. In 2010, Salzman received one of the highest honors given to a physical therapist from the American Physical Therapy Association, the Judy Cirullo Leadership Award. In 2012, Salzman began creating continuing education courses for Care2Learn, including discussions on the unintended ethical consequences of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) and rehospitalization risks for COPD, MI and CHF. Beginning in 2013, Salzman began creating Relias Learning online trainings related to medical errors and ethics and to perform critical reviews of existing CE courses, including reviews of Ethics and Jurisprudence courses, in order to ensure these courses met the standards required by the FSBPT and/or individual states. In addition to these roles, Salzman has served as: • Adjunct Faculty, College of St. Catherine's PT program: • Functional Design Consultant for facilities building aquatic centers; • Author, 5 physical therapy-related texts; • Monthly columnist, Aquatics International, Advance for PTs, Onsite Fitness, Ausmed.com Andrea Salzman MS, PT discloses the following potential conflict of interests/commercial interests with: Relevant Non-Financial Relationship with Aquatic Therapy University as (Owner); Relevant Non-Financial Relationship with Aquatic Resources Network as (Owner); Relevant Non-Financial Relationship with Consultant Business as Consultant; Relevant Financial Relationship with No Entities Exists as (N/A).

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Accreditation Information

Certificates provided by accrediting body (1 Match)

  • Indiana Chapter - American Physical Therapy Association (Ethics & Jurisprudence)


    This activity is approved for 2.0 contact hours.

Course Details
  • Course Code:

  • Hours:

  • Type:

    Online Course
  • Release Date:

  • Expiration Date:

  • Learning Objectives:

    Apply elements of the American Physical Therapy Association’s Core Ethical documents to two case studies to resolve mock ethical dilemmas.\r; Articulate the supervision standards for physical therapist assistants operating in the state of Indiana.\r; Articulate two distinctions between morals, ethics, and the law as related to the physical therapy profession.\r; Define at least two principles of healthcare ethics, as described in the course. \r; Describe at least five standards of professional conduct and competent practice for PTs and PTAs practicing in Indiana.\r; Describe requirements for continuing competency for both PT and PTA providers operating in the state of Indiana.; Describe the conditions under which a patient can be seen by a physical therapist without a referral from a qualifying health care provider.\r; Describe the limitations placed on both spinal manipulation and sharps debridement by a physical therapist in the state of Indiana.\r; Describe the method PT professionals can employ to help resolve ethical situations.\r
  • Outline:

    Section 1: Introduction
    About This Course
    Learning Objectives
    Section 2: Morals, Ethics & Law
    Ethics vs. Morals
    Healthcare Ethics
    APTA’s Core Values for the Physical Therapist
    Professional Duty
    Socially Responsible
    APTA’s Core Values for the Physical Therapist
    Ethics vs. Law
    Section 3: Ethical Principles and Dilemmas
    Healthcare Principles
    Clinical Example
    Methods to Resolve Ethical Dilemmas
    Integrating Theory into Practice
    8 Steps to Resolve an Ethical Dilemma
    Clinical Example
    Section 4: Code of Ethics
    Codifying Ethics
    APTA’s Core Ethical Document
    Mock Case Scenarios
    Section 5: Regulation of Physical Therapists
    Unlawful Practices
    Indiana Physical Therapy Board
    Other Sections
    Section 6: Indiana Administrative Code
    Rule 1: General Provisions
    Rule 2: Fees
    Rule 3: Admission to Practice
    Rule 4: Registration
    Rule 6: Reinstatement of Suspended License
    Rule 7: Standards of Professional Conduct
    Patient Care
    Reporting Conduct
    Substance Use and Mental Impairment
    Fees and Advertisement
    Discontinue Practice
    Other Misconduct
    Rule 8: Continuing Competency
    Category I Activities
    Category II Activities
    SummarySection 7: Indiana Physical Therapy Board Website
    A.  Overview
    Section 8: Conclusion
    Course Contributor

  • Target Audience:

    The target audience for this course is: Introductory level Physical Therapists; in the following settings: All Healthcare Settings.
  • Course Delivery Method and Format:

    Asynchronous/Online Distance Learning; please see certificate details for specifics on delivery format.
    Relias has a grievance policy in place to facilitate reports of dissatisfaction. Relias will make every effort to resolve each grievance in a mutually satisfactory manner. In order to report a complaint or grievance please contact Relias.
    If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Support by completing the web form (https://www.relias.com/help) or by using the chat functionality.
    All courses offered by Relias, LLC are developed from a foundation of diversity, inclusiveness, and a multicultural perspective. Knowledge, values and awareness related to cultural competency are infused throughout the course content.
    Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, service mark, manufacturer or otherwise does not constitute or imply any endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of, or affiliation with, Relias, LLC.
    All characteristics and organizations referenced in the following training are fictional. Any resemblance to any actual organizations or persons living or dead, is purely coincidental.
    To earn continuing education credit for this course you must achieve a passing score of 80% on the post-test and complete the course evaluation.
  • Accommodations:

    If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Customer Support here.
  • Disclosures:

    Expert Reviewers, Instructors, and Staff Writers disclosures will be listed above after the individuals' biographical paragraph. All other members involved within the planning of this educational activity have declared no conflict of interest exists when planning and developing this course.