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Advanced Competency in Home Health
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[This program is still under development and these pages are under revision.]

An advanced program for Physical Therapists in the Home Health setting

 

Advanced Competency LogoHow will this program benefit me?

The Home Health Section’s Advanced Competency in Home Health program synthesizes current evidence-based practice and tailors it to the unique physical therapy setting of home health. This program enables home health agencies, outpatient practices that provide home care physical therapy, and individual physical therapists to enhance efficacy and efficiency of treatment of their home health patients and clients.

For therapists entirely new to home care: This program will prepare you for the unique characteristics of practicing in the home care setting. This includes an in-depth orientation to performing clinical assessments of patients in their homes, recommended tests and measures to assess patient performance, and instruction in the regulatory requirements specific to home care. The program also will give you needed supplementary education in pharmacology to prepare you for medication review with home care patients, and will provide advanced tools for managing some of the most common treatment scenarios encountered in home care.

For therapists already practicing in home care: This program will allow you to increase and test your expertise in home health. The program will also bring you up-to-date on regulatory requirements and best practice in the home care setting. Most important, success in this program distinguishes you as an advanced clinician in home health.

For agencies and practices providing home care physical therapy services: This program enables you to ensure that the physical therapists you employ are adequately trained to work autonomously in the home health field. Whether you send new hires or existing staff through the advanced competency program, it’s an important investment in your peace of mind.

PTs in the House: Solving the Problems Posed by a Unique Practice Environment
The Advanced Competency in Home Health program provides the comprehensive orientation needed to launch more physical therapists into the unique home care setting and better prepares these professionals for success.

Few physical therapy schools offer internships in the home care environment, and providing mentorship for physical therapists new to home care poses numerous staffing difficulties. As a result, most physical therapists learn to work in the home care setting on the job or at great expense to their employers. Due to a lack of comprehensive home care orientation programs, many newly graduated physical therapists or those interested in transitioning from other practice environments don’t even consider employment opportunities in home care. Combined with increasing demands for home care physical therapist services, we’re faced with a shortage of physical therapists in home care.

 

Program Requirements

In order to achieve Advanced Competency in Home Health, participating physical therapists must successfully complete five online core course modules (approx. 20 hours) in the following areas: clinical assessment; documentation and regulation; ethics in home health; balance and falls; and medication and pharmacology. They must also complete four additional hours of education in online elective modules and successfully complete a weekend course (15 hours).

All of the above requirements must be completed within a period of eighteen months (18) in order for the participant to be eligible for Advanced Competency in Home Health.

Examination Requirements

Each online course module includes an online, multiple choice examination requiring a passing score of 70% or greater. The number of questions varies depending upon the duration of the course, but typically 10 – 20 questions. Participants may retake tests for online modules twice. The face-to-face weekend course includes a written examination and skills test performed on-site. Individuals may elect to take the weekend course without being tested (audit), but these individuals will not be eligible for the program certificate.

Certificate and Pin
After the successful completion of the program requirements, the participant will receive a certificate ad specially designed pin to recognize their Advanced Competency in Home Health.

 

Learning Center Logo

Course Availability: All online modules for this program will be offered through the American Physical Therapy Association's Learning Center. Core module courses will become available in late May of 2017. Elective modules will have first availability in June of 2017 and the Home Health Section will add elective courses over time. NOTE: Participants are not required to be enrolled in the Advanced Competency in Home Health program in order to take any of the affiliated online courses.

 

Program Cost

Course costs have not yet been finalized, but total registration fees for the required online courses and the weekend course is estimated to be approximately $1,400 for Home Health Section members. Additional discounts are available when you register for multiple online courses at once and there will be early registration incentives for the weekend course.

Dates & Locations - Weekend Course

  • Fall 2017, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - tentative; watch this space for updates
  • February 20 & 21, 2018, New Orleans, Louisiana (Combined Sections Meeting)
  • January 22 & 23, 2019, Washington, DC (Combined Sections Meeting)

The Home Health Section intends to increase offerings of the weekend course on demand, as the number of eligible program participants increases. Current course dates will be listed on the Home Health Section website. If you are not already a Home Health Section member, register as a user on our website for regular email updates about course availability.


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