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Online: Professionalism Module 7: Communication
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Author(s): APTA Task Force on Professionalism and Tara Pearce, PT, MHS; Karen Mueller, PT, PhD


$50.40 Member | $72 Nonmember (price subject to change)
CEU: 0.3 CEUs (3.0 contact hours/CCUs) will be awarded upon successful completion of a multiple choice test. You must complete the online posttest with at least 70% accuracy in order to claim CEU credit.
Publication Date: September 2010
Delivery Method:
Online Course: This course consists of a narrated PowerPoint® presentation and a posttest. Handouts, when made available by the presenters, are available as downloadable PDFs within the course. Computer System Requirements.


Overview | Objectives | Presenters Bios | CEU Information | System Requirements

The Professionalism Series consists of 10 modules. Module 7: Communication addresses the transtheoretical model of change, which is an approach you can use in daily practice to assist patients/clients in making long-term behavioral changes. It also covers the evidence supporting the importance of good communication skills in physical therapy practice and reviews the roles and competencies within teams that can enhance or hinder effective communication. Additionally, it addresses how generational differences can influence practitioner and patient/client expectations of what constitutes appropriate communication while it also considers several principles of effective communication that can serve to enhance discourse between physical therapists and physicians.


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After completing this module, you will be able to:

  1. Recall how to support patients to make positive lifestyle changes using the Transtheoretical model of change.           

  2. Recall the ways in which communication skills are an integral part of physical therapy practice.

  3. Recognize how collaborative communication among team members benefits patient/client care.

  4. Identify generational differences that can affect communication between practitioners and patients/clients.

  5. Recognize challenges related to physical therapist and physician communication.

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Presenter(s) Bios

Karen Mueller, PT, PhD, is Professor of Physical Therapy at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona and is focused on the areas of adult neurological rehabilitation, end-of-life care, professionalism, and psychosocial aspects of disability. Additionally, she serves as Vice-chair of the APTA Oncology Section Hospice and Palliative Care Special Interest Group.

Tara S. Pearce, PT, MHS, earned a BS in physical therapy from Bradley University in 1997, a MHS from University of Indianapolis in 2004, and is currently enrolled as a DHS student at the University of Indianapolis. She is currently an Assistant Professor and Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education in the UAB Department of Physical Therapy where she instructs students in coursework related to professionalism and clinical education. Ms. Pearce continues clinical practice per diem in an acute care setting. Her interests include vestibular rehabilitation, fall prevention, clinical education, and topics related to professionalism. Her dissertation is focused on self-management techniques for vertigo as they relate to health literacy and adherence and rates of recurrence.


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CEU Information

On successful completion of the examination, 0.3 CEUs (3.0 contact hours/CCUs) and a certificate of completion will be awarded. The American Physical Therapy Association has been approved as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET), 1760 Old Meadow Road, Suite 500, McLean, VA 22102. Provider (#380).

Many state agencies recognize APTA as a recognized or approved provider for continuing education. The following state agencies have granted prior approval for this continuing education offering:

  • California Physical Therapy Association: CPTA2014-2015
  • Nevada Board of Physical Therapy Examiners: 0.3 Units
  • Ohio State Board of Physical Therapy: 15S0164
  • Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure & Supervision: 3 Category B hours
  • Pennsylvania: Approved - 3 GEN
  • Texas Physical Therapy Association: 1609016TX

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System Requirements

Online Course: This course consists of a narrated PowerPoint® presentation, interactive knowledge checks, and a posttest. You must complete the online posttest with at least 70% accuracy in order to claim CEU credit.

Computer System Requirements


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$72.00 $50.40