EMG Residency

The HODS-AACE Residency Program

APTA-Approved Residency In Clinical Electrophysiology (EMG/NCS)

Hands-On Diagnostics is the only organization worldwide that offers a Residency in Clinical Electrophysiology and a Fellowship in Musculoskeletal Ultrasound.

Physical Therapists are among the few qualified providers that can perform, bill and get reimbursed for Electromyography (EMG) and Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS).

EMG measures the electrical activity of muscles at rest and during contraction. Nerve and muscle disorders cause the muscles to react in abnormal ways. NCS is used to measure the health of the nerves. 

Measuring the electrical activity in muscles and nerves can help find diseases that damage muscle tissue (such as myopathy and muscular dystrophy) or nerves (such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or peripheral neuropathies). EMG and Nerve Conduction Studies are done together to provide us with more complete data. 

The results of EMG/NCS testing can be an invaluable tool for the Physical Therapist to help them identify the source of the patient problem and help them manage their patients more effectively.

HODS has certified hundreds of physical therapists in over 153 facilities across 21 states and they keep expanding.  The purpose of the organization is to help build a truly autonomous physical therapy practice by advancing the physical therapist as the provider of choice for a wide range of technologies – electrophysiological, neuro-musculoskeletal ultrasound imaging, vestibular testing, and more.

1. An Electromyogram (EMG) measures the electrical activity of muscles at rest and during contraction. Nerves control the muscles in the body by electrical signals (impulses), and these impulses cause the muscles to react in specific ways. Nerve and muscle disorders cause the muscles to react in abnormal ways. During an Electromyography study, a very small pin is inserted in the muscle that helps us evaluate the condition of your muscles.

2. Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS) are used to measure the health of your nerves. Mild electrical stimulation is administered to the skin directly overlaying the nerve. The response is measured by a second set of electrodes applied to the surface of the skin. This impulse produces a visual signal on a computer monitor and when analyzed it can provide information about the condition of the nerve.

Measuring the electrical activity in muscles and nerves can help find diseases that damage muscle tissue (such as myopathy and muscular dystrophy) or nerves (such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or peripheral neuropathies). EMG and Nerve Conduction Studies are often done together to provide us with more complete data.

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ACCEPTED BY INSURANCES

What is the Fellowship and APTA approved Residency in EMG/NCS Testing?

HODS has collaborated with the American Academy of Clinical Electrodiagnosis (AACE) to offer to Physical Therapists an approved Residency in Clinical Electrodiagnosis program by the American Physical Therapy Association and the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE). Before therapists get into the Residency program they complete a Fellowship and they attain the title F-EMG (Fellow in EMG)

Therapists first successfully complete three 3-day hybrid (live and online) courses along with another online course; perform 50 mentored studies, spend 2 days with a Board certified mentor in their facilities doing patient testing and pass two practical and written exams and they attain the title of Fellowship in EMG which provides them with proficiency in performing basic EMG/NCS examinations and they attain the title F-EMG.
Once they complete this cycle, they go into the residency program where they receive another 6 onsite, live mentorship days in their facilities and they perform 245 mentored exams and perform a few case reviews. Once they successfully complete this phase they become Residency Graduates and they become qualified to sit for the ECS Board certification examination in Clinical Electrophysiology Testing. The program can be completed as soon as within a year.

Why do the HODS/AACE Residency in Clinical Electrophysiology?

The degree of competency that you attain during this intensive program is not parallel to anything else you have experienced.  You develop total certainty on how to perform and interpret even the most challenging testing cases and you become a true expert in the area.

The completion of the residency program qualifies you to sit for the APTA board exam much faster and with the completion of only 295 studies vs 500 required without the residency.

This process helps students prepare for the ECS board certification exam and eventually become ABPTS Board Certified in Clinical Electrophysiology.

The title F-EMG (Fellow in Electromyography)
The F-EMG title is exclusive to those who are fellowship graduates.  The title evinces proficiency in Electromyography achieved through a vigorous training, studying and testing that advances the physical therapist to an expert in EMG/NCS Testing

The Important Role of AIUM
The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) released a groundbreaking statement declaring physical therapists as qualified providers to perform and/or interpret musculoskeletal ultrasound examinations. This decision by the AIUM further affirms the physical therapists’ evolving capacity to perform this diagnostic examination (along with additional types of examinations) and be recognized by insurance companies as qualified providers. 

The FMSK (Fellowship in Musculoskeletal UltraSonography) that HODS has created fully aligns with the purposes of AIUM and furthers the competent involvement of Physical Therapists in this area of study

Why the Physical Therapist should use EMG/NCS in the PT practice?

EMG/NCS Testing can be performed by the Physical Therapist at the point of care.  If patient needs it, you have it available right there.

A recent research article in Muscle & Nerve entitled “The Usefulness of Electrodiagnostic Studies in the Diagnosis and Management of Neuromuscular Disorders” found that electrodiagnostic studies led to a change in diagnosis in more than half the patients in this study- and led to a change in management plan in more than 60%.

In a recent PT multicenter clinical study that was done and included over 465 patients, the outcomes were astonishing to say the least.

  • Management of patients who received EMG and MSKUS in the Physical Therapy practice was changed in 62% of patients post EMG and MSKUS testing in each group.
  • 26% patients were referred to physician/surgeon and received non-surgical (injections) or surgical interventions.
  • 16% of patients had significant change in their management post-test which led to change in their earlier diagnosis.
  • In 20% of patients, conservative PT management was changed or altered post-test.

But the most striking results of this study was that:

  • 90% of patients agreed or strongly agreed that they were better able to understand their problem, were reassured about their problem and were better able to manage their problem.
  • 98% agreed or strongly agreed that the Diagnostic test provided a high perceived value for them.

The Physical Therapist of the future will have a portable EMG/NCS unit in their practice and able to use it for their patients as needed, creating effective treatment plans based not only on physical examination findings but on objective evidence-based diagnostic data.  HODS trained PTs are doing this right now! HODS trains them, helps them create a HODS approved PT Diagnostic Center within their PT practice.

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