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Cleveland, OH


To register for this course please visit this learning path Clinical Competency Certificate.

Participants at this 3 day course will experience hands-on training to integrate skills and knowledge learned from the online modules of the ATPA Academy of Aquatic Physical Therapy Certificate of Clinical Competency Series. Emphasis will be placed on handling techniques to give the participant confidence to apply their knowledge to a wide base of treatment applications. Participants will be challenged to maximize the effectiveness of their treatments utilizing the unique properties of water and pool equipment. A variety of aquatic therapy techniques will be demonstrated and multiple case studies will aid the learner in understanding the aquatic therapy continuum from evaluation to discharge to wellness. Participants can expect to be in the pool for the majority of the course and will be tested on their handling skills as well as integration of online and pool course material.

Pool Course Objectives

1. Apply critical thinking to evidence based practice to support the need for aquatic physical therapy intervention.
2. Recognize and respond to potential challenges prior to pool entry for specific patient populations.
3. Appropriately select pool equipment best suited for patient treatment goals.
4. Demonstrate the ability to logically progress exercise in the water.
5. Confidently handle patients of all types in the water in all depths and all positions.
6. Apply clinical interventions for gait and balance training in the water.
7. Integrate aquatic techniques for maximizing muscle performance during aquatic physical therapy treatments.
8. Demonstrate modifications to address possible sensory integration challenges when in aquatic treatment session.
9. Develop and integrate individualized cardiovascular techniques based on patient’s needs.
10. Demonstrate basic understanding of Halliwick, Bad Ragaz Ring Method, Watsu, Ai Chi, AquaStretch, Aqua Yoga and Burdenko Method.

APTA Academy of Aquatic Physical Therapy Clinical Competency Certificate
This course series provides PTs and PTAs with a comprehensive study of the fundamental knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to provide safe evidence-based patient care using the aquatic environment. Participants will demonstrate clinical competency in aquatic physical therapy by completing both written and practical skills tests. This is the only certificate program sponsored by a component of the APTA specifically designed for the aquatic physical therapy professional.

Note: The series includes online courses plus an in-person pool course. You must complete the three-day, in-person pool course to complete the course series and be awarded the APTA Academy of Aquatic Physical Therapy Clinical Competency Certificate.

Achievement of the course series results in an assessment-based clinical competency certificate in aquatic physical therapy. It does not result in a credential and is not recognized by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists (ABPTS). Participants receive an assessment-based certificate upon completion of the entire program.

These are the online courses required to obtain your certificate:
  • Aquatic Historical Perspective - David Morris, PT, PHD
  • Aquatic Physics* - Terry Peterson, PT, MS, PCS (prerequisite for pool course)
  • Physiology of Immersion* - Marty Biondi, PT, DPT, CSCS (prerequisite for pool course)
  • Critical Thinking and Aquatic Interventions for PT* - Holly Lookabaugh-Deur, PT, DSc, GCS, Emily Dunlap, PT (prerequisite for pool course)
  • Pool Chemicals and Safety - Richard Vicory, PT, DPT
  • Risk Management Issues - David Morris, PT, PhD
  • Aquatic Billing and Documentation - Christine Taylor, PT, DPT, PCS
*Indicates prerequisite to attend in-person component of the certificate program (Pool course).


  • Kathleen (Kiki) Dickinson, PT

    Kathleen (Kiki) Dickinson has a master’s degree in physical therapy from St. Catherine University. Kiki works at St. Croix Therapy (Therapeutic Services for Children and Adults) in Hudson, WI and has over 25 years of aquatic experience developing and implementing aquatic therapy programs for a diverse pediatric and adult population which includes working with children of all ages including the birth-to three population and medically complex children and adults. Kiki teaches custom seminars nationally and internationally for Aquatic Therapy University (ATU), Aquatic Science Associates and for her company North Star Aquatic Therapy (NSAT). Kiki has developed many course manuals for several pediatric courses for ATU and has developed several of her own aquatic courses. Kiki is certified in Halliwick, Bad Ragaz Ring Method, Ai Chi and Cranial Sacral. Kiki is an adjunct professor at St. Catherine University and for over 20 years she has taught pediatric coursework for the Physical Therapy Assistant Program. Kiki is very excited to be completing her Instructor in Training for the APTA Academy of Aquatic Physical Therapy Clinical Competency Certificate program and to continue to promote the vast benefits of aquatics in physical therapy

Oct 16 - Oct 18, 2020
8:00 AM CDT - 4:00 PM CDT
Cleveland Clinic 10524 Euclid Ave C-Building Cleveland, OH 44195

Duration 3 Days

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