United States Physical Therapy Practice Acts

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Temporary License Requirements/Availability[edit | edit source]

Definition[edit | edit source]

"PHYSICAL THERAPY. The treatment of a human being by the use of exercise, massage, heat, cold, water, radiant energy, electricity or sound for the purpose of correcting or alleviating any physical or mental condition or preventing the development of any physical or mental disability, or the performance of neuro-muscular-skeletal tests and measurements to determine the existence and extent of body malfunction; provided, that physical therapy shall be practiced only upon the referral of a physician licensed to practice medicine or surgery and a dentist licensed to practice dentistry and shall not include radiology or electrosurgery." [1]

Temporary License Requirements/Availability[edit | edit source]

Temporary licensing for a Physical Therapist is permitted in the state of Alabama. Upon payment to the board of a set fee and a written application provided by the board, the applicant shall be issued a temporary license without examination. The time frame can not exceed past one year and applications are only accepted from new graduates whom have not taken the boards exam. [1]

Requirements for License[edit | edit source]

In order to sit for the boards examination, a written application, provided by the board, must be filed. The applicant must present evidence to the board that he or she is of good moral character and has completed an accredited Physical Therapy School recognized nationally. Each applicant must also be a member of the United States or a non-citizen of the United States who is legally present with appropriate documentation from the federal government. Concerning the boards,the examination shall test the applicants knowledge of the basic and clinical sciences related to Physical Therapy. A practical exam may be required at the discretion of the board when an applicant is retaking a written exam after previously failing. [1]

Supervision[edit | edit source]

Physical Therapist may provide both direction and/or supervision of support staff. This includes overseeing a maximum of four PTA's and direct line of sight of Physical Therapy aide. The aide can only perform activities that do not
require the clinical decision making of the physical therapist or physical therapist assistant. They may not perform any hands on treatment of a patient.

"Direction means the action of the physical therapist in delegating duties to a physical therapist assistant,
maintaining close communication with the physical therapist
assistant, and overseeing the physical therapist assistant's
activities on a frequent regularly scheduled basis. Supervision means the direct onsite overseeing of the performance of assigned or delegated duties or functions."[2]

Physical Therapy Students[edit | edit source]

Physical Therapy Students are required to be monitored by an onsite Physical Therapist. [3]

Continued Competence[edit | edit source]

In the state of Alabama, in order to renew licensing, the Board recently changed the Administrative Code regarding the number of hours needed and type of classes. A minimum of ten hours is required by the state and of those ten hours, in even years(2012, 2014), two of the hours must contain jurisprudence content, the science application of law to practical situations. The purpose of this course is to provide participants with a thorough understanding of the laws, rules, and regulations that govern Physical Therapy practice in Alabama.[3] [4]

Does the Act appear restrictive? Why/Why not?[edit | edit source]

I found this act to be restrictive based solely on the fact that Alabama does not have Direct Access. It has been proposed several times, but has yet to be passed. It is clearly under the definition of a Phyical Therapist in the state of Alabama that Physical Therapy may only be saught after referrel from a physician, etc.

Is there anything unusual about this act?[edit | edit source]

No Direct Access

References[edit | edit source]

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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Rules and Regulations: Code of Alabama. State of Alabama Board of Physical Therapy.
  4. Hot Topics. State of Alabama Board of Physical Therapy.

Disclaimer:   Informational Content is assimilated from the state practice act is a resource only and should not be considered a  substitute for the content within the state practice act.  All state practice acts can change and it is recommended that you refer to the original resource in the link above.