Law and Ethics for the Physical Therapist - PT57

Law and Ethics for the Physical Therapist

by Scott Cheatham, PT, DPT, OCS, ATC, CSCS and Andrea Salzman, MS, PT
(4.4 / 3942 ratings )

This course is credentialed for:
Physical Therapy (2.00 Hour(s))

Price: $34.00
CE-PRO Price: $17.00


As physical therapists, we often find ourselves in situations that test not only our clinical skills, but our moral and legal acuity as well. Ethics, moral decision-making and interpretation of laws and regulations are all important aspects of clinical practice.This course highlights key ethical principles, the American Physical Therapy Association code of ethics, various ethical decision-making processes and common legal questions regarding the practice of physical therapy.


The goal of this continuing education program is to review ethical principles and common legal questions that pertain to the practice of physical therapy. After studying the material presented here, you will be able to:
  • Discuss common ethical principles as they relate to the practice of physical therapy
  • Discuss the rationale for the APTA code of ethics and the key principles involved
  • Identify common ethical dilemmas and utilize the Realm-Individual Process-Situation Model of Ethical Decision Making
  • Discuss common legal questions and identify available state and national resources concerning legal issues

Approval Information
OnCourse Learning is an approved sponsor by the New York State Education Department of continuing education for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants from 10/21/09 to 10/20/21.
This activity has been approved by the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners as meeting continuing competence requirements for PTs and PTAs (approval #54237EA for 04/16/13 to 04/15/15; 60259ETX for 04/16/15 to 04/16/16; 60259ETX for 04/17/16 to 04/17/17; 63002ETX for 04/18/17 to 04/18/19). This activity has been approved by the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners for 2 CCUs towards the ethics and professional responsibility requirements for PTs and PTAs. The assignment of Texas PT CCUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by TPTA or TBPTE.
OnCourse Learning is recognized by the Physical Therapy Board of California as an approved reviewer and provider of continuing competency courses for the state of California.
OnCourse Learning is a licensed physical therapy continuing education sponsor (#216.000275) with The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation from July 2013 through September 30, 2018.
This course has been approved as meeting the continuing education requirements for PTs and PTAs by the:
  • Ohio Physical Therapy Association (approval no. 13S1131 for 05/08/13 to 05/08/14; 14S1245 for 05/09/14 to 05/09/15; 15S1260 for 05/10/15 to 05/10/16; 16S1697 for 05/11/16 to 05/11/17; 17S5452 for 05/12/17 to 05/12/18.)
  • Florida Physical Therapy Association (approval no. CP130020816 for 01/01/13 to 12/31/13, CP140021539 for 01/01/14 to 12/31/14, PE150023604 for 01/01/15 to 12/31/15; CE16-27080 for 01/01/16 to 12/31/16; CE17-389976 for 01/01/17 to 12/31/17; CE18-389976 for 01/01/18 to 12/31/18). Approval of this course does not necessarily imply the Florida Physical Therapy Association supports the views of the presenter or the sponsors.
  • Pennsylvania Board of Physical Therapy (approval no. PTCE004713 for 06/22/13 to 12/31/14, PTCE007082 for 01/01/15 to 12/31/16; PTCE010195 for 01/01/17 to 12/31/18)
  • New Jersey Board of Physical Therapy Examiners (approval no. 1240-2012 for 05/14/13 to 01/31/14, 1048-2014 for 02/01/14 to 01/31/16)
  • Louisiana Physical Therapy Board for the administrative category (02/23/15 to 12/31/15, 01/01/16 to 12/31/16; 01/01/17 to 12/31/17; 01/01/2018 to 12/31/2018)
This course has been approved by the
  • Maryland State Board of Physical Therapy Examiners for 0.2 CEU for 05/16/13 to 05/16/17
  • Nevada State Board of Physical Therapy Examiners for 0.2 units of continuing education for 05/21/13 to 07/31/14, 08/01/14 to 07/31/16; 08/01/16 to 07/31/18.
The Illinois Chapter Continuing Education Committee has certified that this course meets the criteria for approval of Continuing Education offerings established by The Illinois Physical Therapy Association (approval no. 437-4878 for 06/01/13 to 06/01/14). According to the Rules for the Administration of the Illinois Physical Therapy Act (section 13460.61) published by the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation, a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant applying for re-licensure in Illinois can earn a maximum of 50 percent of their required continuing education hours from self-study. The hours awarded of this course are designated for self-study CE credit.
Other states may accept this course for meeting their CE requirements. Check with your state association or board.

Course Originally Released on: 4/16/2013
Date of Most Recent Review: 4/16/2013
Course Termination/Update Date: 3/21/2021


Unless stated above, the planners and authors of this course have declared no relevant conflicts of interest that relate to this educational activity. OnCourse Learning guarantees this educational activity is free from bias.

Please see CE Course Instructions to learn how to earn CE credit for this module.


For Florida professionals:

This course completion will be electronically reported to CE Broker as required per Florida Statute 456.025(7). Click here to view your CE Broker transcript and check the status of your CE requirements with a FREE 7-day CE Broker trial subscription. It may take up to 24 hours for the course to appear on your CE Broker transcript.

It is now required that all CE is completed and reported to CE Broker before you renew your license. When you complete continuing education with us, OnCourse Learning will report your hours for you.

Read more about the new license renewal process at and claim your free Basic Account in CE Broker to see what has already been reported for you.

Please check the licenses/certifications section under my account (after logging in) to make sure you have entered a valid FL license number. This information is required for correct reporting of your course completions to CE Broker.

Reports to CE Broker

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LAUREN V - Morrisville, PA  ·  Nov 14, 2018
The course clarified who to consult and questions to consider regarding ethical situations.
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Mark W - Birdsboro, PA  ·  Nov 13, 2018
Content was very useful!
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NIDHI A - Los Angeles, CA  ·  Nov 13, 2018
This is a really good course for revision and get updated.
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JASON A - new ringgold, PA  ·  Nov 13, 2018
good course to take for pt
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LORRAINE K - shillington, PA  ·  Nov 13, 2018
informative ! thank you
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Price: $34.00
CE-PRO Price: $17.00