Physical Therapy Business Tips

CEUs For Physical Therapy: Top Courses To Take

updated on

April 2, 2024

CEU's for physical therapy: Top courses to take

In the modern physical therapy world, there are countless continuing education options for enhancing your practice - but how do you know which CEU courses for physical therapy are going to be the most valuable for you?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered, and we’re going to break down not only what some of the most important continuing education courses are for physical therapists today, but also how to choose the best course for your needs and how to leverage your continuing education to enhance your career.

Let’s get started.

Types Of CEUs For Physical Therapy

Continuing education units, or CEUs, are an essential part of maintaining and growing your knowledge to provide the best care possible to the people you serve. To help you get your credits and learn new skills, there are plenty of companies and organizations that offer continuing education courses on a wide variety of subjects.

Physical therapists can take many different types of CEU courses, but the top continuing education courses for physical therapists to take are those that focus on developing niche skills, capitalizing on new industry trends or technology, and expanding the types of services offered by a therapist.

To help you get a better sense of what’s out there, let’s cover a few of the most impactful courses that are available for physical therapists in today’s CEU catalog.

Diagnostic Maneuvers for BPPV

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, or BPPV for short, is a common and complex condition that involves extremely uncomfortable dizziness and loss of ability to engage in normal activities. As the world becomes more aware of a physical therapist's ability to treat BPPV, the need for therapists who can confidently treat it is higher than ever before.

Taking a course on diagnostic maneuvers for BPPV is an excellent way to build on skills that are usually lost immediately after graduating PT school while also enhancing your ability to help a new group of people. As an added bonus, you’ll also be able to market new skills that can attract a growing group of potential clients who could really use your help.

TMJ Course

The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is an often overlooked but incredibly important joint that physical therapists should feel confident treating. Unfortunately, not many of us are taught specific techniques for treating disorders of the TMJ in school and often need to refer patients who come in with TMJ disorders to a specialist.

A TMJ course typically focuses on a series of evaluation and treatment techniques that can take your view of TMJ evaluations from apprehensive to eager, usually within a single weekend course! Just like getting CEUs focused on treating BPPV, learning how to treat TMJ disorders means turning fewer patients away and positioning yourself as a one-stop shop for your clients more effectively.

Virtual Evaluation Of The Shoulder

As telehealth and other digital health tools become part of the norm for physical therapists, understanding how to properly evaluate clients virtually is more important than ever. As one of the most commonly injured joints of the human body, the shoulder should be at the top of your virtual skills repertoire.

While you’re probably comfortable with evaluating shoulder conditions in the clinic, taking a CEU course focusing on virtual evaluation of the shoulder means stepping into the world of telehealth with more confidence and better standardized protocols. Who knows, it might even help you establish a virtual branch of your practice!

Intro To Nutrition

Most physical therapists don’t think of themselves as experts on nutrition, but understanding the basics of nutrition can be a game-changer for the outcomes of your clients. More importantly, there are plenty of avenues to develiver nutrition education without stepping on the toes of other professionals, like registered dieticians.

Taking an intro to nutrition course can help you refresh the basics of nutrition that you learned in school, dive deeper into topics that most providers never get exposed to, and - most importantly - learn practical applications of your knowledge to better assist your clients at every stage of their care.

If you’re ever unsure of where the boundaries are for your scope of practice, just make sure that you’re keeping in communication with your client’s primary care provider and encouraging regular wellness checkups.

Types of CEU's for physical therapy

How To Choose Physical Therapy Continuing Education Courses

With so many engaging and potentially beneficial courses to get your CEUs for physical therapy, it can be hard to know which courses are best for your needs, your practice, and your professional aspirations. Of course, there are a few things to consider that can help provide more clarity when making your choice.

First, is the course content interesting to you? 

There are plenty of reasons to take a course, and pressure from work or your colleagues can sometimes muddy the waters when fulfilling your CEUs for physical therapy - but your continuing education should be done your way. Always pick courses that sound interesting while aligning with your personal values as a physical therapist and you’ll be far more likely to feel good about your decision.

Next, does the course support your growth professionally? 

Once you’ve decided that a selection of courses interest you, it can be helpful to take another look at them through the lens of your professional goals and aspirations. For example, will the course help you get closer to a specialty certification, better leverage new technology in your practice, or learn tips for marketing your business? If so, it’s likely to be an even stronger choice for you.

And last but not least, is the course within your budget? 

It’s no secret among physical therapists that CEU courses can be expensive. So even if a course interests you and aligns with your professional goals, it might be entirely overpriced or just out of your budget. While one high-priced course is fine now and then, there may be multiple other great courses that you could take for the same price as one expensive course, so you’ll want to make sure that the value fits into your CEU goals for the year.

One workaround for affording expensive CEU courses is utilizing a continuing education stipend from your employer. Many employers offer annual support with CEUs for physical therapy that are a part of your total compensation package, and it can be a great way to promote a culture of learning within a team or clinic.

CEU's for physical therapy

Career Benefits Of Physical Therapy Continuing Education

Learning more about the field of physical therapy and improving your physical therapy services are great features of CEU courses, but that’s not where the benefits stop. In fact, there are a number of career benefits that come with regular continuing education.

Being known as an expert
is probably the most obvious benefit of continuing education for physical therapists. With more courses under your belt, you’ll have more exposure to advanced information and skills that improve your reputation with your clients, your employer, and the network of healthcare providers around you (or online!).

Promotions and raises
can also come from regularly advancing your skills and earning specialty certifications with CEUs for physical therapy. Not only does taking courses make you technically more qualified as a clinician, but it also demonstrates investment in your field that is highly valuable to your employer (and potential future employers) and sets you apart from the rest of your peers.

Joining boards
is a less common but highly sought after badge of honor for many physical therapists. In most cases, joining a board requires a strong clinical background combined with continuing education and certifications to prove that you know your stuff. Joining a clinical or regulatory board can also open doors to new connections, new recognition, and new opportunities to move the field of physical therapy forward.

One of the most important parts of any continuing education course is to bring what you learn back into the clinic and use it to improve patient care. And, when you’re providing that care, it’s essential to document what you’re doing efficiently. Unfortunately, most physical therapy software ends up complicating the process of documentation and taking valuable time away from the patient in front of you.

With the help of ClinicSense practice management software, you can document all of your new and impactful skills into SOAP notes that are seamless, intuitive, and customizable to your unique approach to practice. That means no more time lost to outdated layouts or undependable systems, and more time thinking about your next CEUs for physical therapy!

Sign up here for a free trial of our industry-leading practice management software.

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