January 2019
 January 31, 2019 @ 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM

X-ray Education - X-ray Ordering for the Physical Therapist

This course fulfills the required competency continuing education for PTs to order Radiographs in WI.

When: January 31, 2019 5-9pm

Location: Bolz Auditorium - S. Brooks St., Madison, WI - Also available via LIVE webinar!

This course fulfills the required competency continuing education for PTs to order radiographs in Wisconsin.

Cost: $95 for members, $125 for potential-members

Questions? Contact Southwest District Chair Jennifer Jeschke at [email protected]


Course Description:

Physical therapists have the authority to order x-ray images in Wisconsin and routinely use the results of imaging studies to make patient care decisions.  This course will provide attendees the knowledge, skills, and confidence to order x-ray images in outpatient physical therapy care settings.  Through lecture and case-based learning, attendees will learn how to properly order specific projection views to evaluate all body regions.  Attendees will also understand the rights, responsibilities, and best practices for using x-ray imaging in clinical practice as well as situations when advanced imaging is indicated. This course includes a competency exam and was collaboratively designed by physical therapists and a radiologist. (4 contact hours)

Course Objectives:

At the conclusion of the course attendees will:

  1. summarize the Wisconsin statute and administrative code governing physical therapist x-ray orders.
  2. compare the indications, limitations, and risks of plain film radiography and advanced imaging techniques.
  3. demonstrate competence and accuracy when ordering x-ray images.
  4. implement evidence-based strategies to optimize patient care, facilitate professional communication, and prevent imaging overutilization.
  5. distinguish patient scenarios requiring referral to appropriate providers for further evaluation or advanced imaging.

Course Developer Biographies:

Evan O. Nelson, PT, DPT, is a board certified orthopaedic clinical specialist and assistant professor in the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health Department of Family Medicine.  In his faculty role, Dr. Nelson teaches diagnostic imaging, medical screening, differential diagnosis, and clinical decision-making in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program.  Throughout his career, he has referred patients for x-ray images and treated patients in direct access sports and orthopedic physical therapy settings.  He serves as preceptor and instructor in the UW Health & UnityPoint Health-Meriter Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency program.  He testified before the Wisconsin Senate Health Committee regarding the appropriateness of physical therapist ordered x-ray images in 2016.  Dr. Nelson earned a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Duke University and is a PhD candidate in the Clinical Investigation program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is an active member of the WPTA and APTA.

Scott P. Tauferner, PT, ATC is an Advanced Clinician Physical Therapist at UW Hospital and Clinics. A spine physical therapy specialist, his clinical interest and experience includes ordering x-ray images, direct access patient care, spinal manipulation, and interdisciplinary care collaboration. Mr. Tauferner is a musculoskeletal imaging instructor for the Physical Therapy Direct Access training program at UW Health. He also serves as a preceptor and lead instructor for the musculoskeletal imaging course in the UW Health & UnityPoint Health-Meriter Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency program. A recognized clinical expert, he was an invited panelist to develop a musculoskeletal imaging competency exam for physical therapists. Mr. Tauferner earned his Master of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Bachelors of Science in Athletic Training from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Jason W. Stephenson, MD is a board certified radiologist and assistant professor of Radiology in the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health Department of Radiology. Dr. Stephenson is the Director of Medical Student Education for the department as well as the Integrated Block Leader for the UWSMPH Mind & Motion Course.  Dr. Stephenson has over 20 years of experience as an educator with academic interests that include medical education across health-related professional disciplines, radiology education, curriculum design, and instructional technology.  His clinical interests include soft tissue and bone biopsy, spine and joint injection, vertebroplasty, and small-part musculoskeletal MRI.  He currently sits on the board of directors for the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) and is a past chair of the UWSMPH Educational Policy Council. Dr. Stephenson earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at Stanford University and Doctor of Medicine degree from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO.  He completed residency and Musculoskeletal fellowship training at Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology.

Course Schedule



40 minutes


Types of imaging modalities

WI law, rights & responsibilities

Imaging guidance resources

Clinical decision rules

ACR Appropriateness Criteria



25 minutes

Imaging basics

Spine imaging

Projection views for:

Cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvis



50 minutes

Spine Imaging Case Study & Discussion



10 minutes




15 minutes

Lower extremity imaging

Projection views for:

Hip, knee, ankle, foot, long bone segments



35 minutes

Lower Extremity Imaging Case Study & Discussion



20 minutes

Upper extremity imaging

Projection views for:

Shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand



10 minutes

Upper Extremity Imaging Case Study & Discussion



30 minutes

Competency exam

February 2019
 February 2, 2019 @ 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Save the Date! 

Location: Bryant & Stratton College - Wauwatosa, WI

April 2019
 April 25, 2019 @ 8:00 AM to April 26, 2019 @ 5:00 PM

Location: La Crosse Center, La Crosse.  Overnight rooms at the Radisson.  More details to follow. 

October 2019
 October 10, 2019 @ 8:00 AM to October 11, 2019 @ 10:00 PM

Location: Madison Marriott West, Middleton