United States Physical Therapy Practice Acts

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Temporary License Requirements/Availability[edit | edit source]

Temporary License is currently not available in Florida but will become available effective June 1, 2012 by House Bill 799 that was approved April 8, 2012.[1]

This bill allows Physical Therapy or PTA students who have graduated from approved programs obtain a temporary license while waiting to sit for their board exam.

The requirements for PT students with temporary licensure include on site supervision by a PT (who can only supervise one person with a temporary license at a time).  The temporary license will be revoked if the board exam is not passed within 6 months of graduation.[2]

Florida House BIll 799

Florida House Bill 799 Information and History


Requirements for License[3][edit | edit source]

Florida Practice Act (Rules and Regulations)


To apply for license: file DOH Form #DH-MQA 1142 Application for Licensure

Applicant must:
• Be eighteen years old
• Possess good moral character
• Be educated in PT, by either having:

  • received a degree in physical therapy from an institution that has been approved for the training of physical therapists by the Commission on Accreditation for Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), at the time of graduation; or
  • received a diploma from a program in physical therapy in a foreign country and complete all other requirements of the state of Florida to prove that the credentials are equivalent to the education required for licensure in the US

Supervision[4][edit | edit source]

Physical Therapy Assistants

“The physical therapist should be readily available to the physical therapist assistant with emphasis placed on directing the assistant through frequent reporting, both verbal and written and frequent observations of the care rendered to the patient.”

“The physical therapist shall not delegate portions of the skilled physical therapy functions or tasks to any lesser trained health personnel than the physical therapist assistant.”

  • Inpatient (hospital) setting: “the physical therapist shall be readily and physically available for consultation to the physical therapist assistant”
  • All other settings: “the physical therapist shall be accessible at all times by telecommunication and shall be within the same geographic location as the assistant”

PTAs Employed by other Health Care Professionals

Board certified orthopedic physician or physiatrist, or a chiropractic physician certified in physiotherapy: PTA must be under the general supervision of a Physical Therapist

  • "The physical therapist shall be accessible at all times by two way communication, which enables the physical therapist to respond to an inquiry when made and to be readily available for consultation during the delivery of care, and shall be within the same geographic location as the assistant”

Any other physician: PTA must be under on site supervision of a Physical Therapist

Unlicensed Supportive Personnel (PT technicians)

“Unlicensed Supportive Personnel may be utilized to help in the treatment being provided by a licensed physical therapist or licensed physical therapist assistant. Such personnel shall perform such acts only under the direct supervision of a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant.”

“A physical therapist may only delegate tasks for which he is qualified or legally entitled to perform and a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant may only supervise those tasks or activities for which the licensee is qualified or legally entitled to perform.”

Physical Therapy Students[4][edit | edit source]

“Physical therapists, when participating in student and/or trainee programs shall assure that the programs are approved or pending approval by the appropriate accrediting agency recognized by the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation (formerly the National Commission on Accreditation and the Federation of Regional Accrediting Commissions of Higher Education) or the United States Department of Education and provide on-site supervision when students are performing patient care activities.”

Continued Competence[5][edit | edit source]

“Physical Therapists are required to complete twenty-four contact hours of continuing education courses approved by the Board in the twenty-four months preceding each biennial renewal period as established by the Department.”

“A contact hour shall consist of fifty clock minutes. One half contact hour shall consist of twenty-five clock minutes. One continuing educational unit (CEU) shall be considered equivalent to ten (10) contact hours.”

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

This act does not appear to be alarmingly restrictive or loose, but seems to fit in what is expected of a Physical Therapy Practice Act.  The regulations on licensure, surpervision, continuing education, and students all seem to fit what would be considered reasonable and within the standards of good practice.  The new rule that allows temporary licensure as of June 1 is very helpful going forward for students due to the new board exams that are only offered four dates during the year.  Overall this act seems to fulfill its purpose and protect the integrity of the profession of Physical Therapy in the state of Florida while at the same time is not overly restrictive for the therapists unnecessarily.

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

The requirements of therapists to be over the age of 18 and to be of good moral character are somewhat unusual and interesting requirements but not uncommon within many states' Practice Acts.

The instructions of what to do after the death of a PT are somewhat unusual in that they are very specific and focus on newspapers as the key source of sharing information, which is not the case in today's world.

Medical Records of Deceased Physical Therapists or Physical Therapist Assistants: The act states that upon the death of a PT or PTA the medical records in their possession must be maintained for 2 years following the death by the executor, administrator, personal representative or survivor of the therapist.  It also states that this representative of the deceased is responsible for putting a notice in the newspaper with the greatest circulation in the area within one month letting patients/clients know where they can pick up their records. After 22 months this representative is required to put four notices in the paper, once a week for a month, stating that if the clients/patients do not pick up their records within one month after the four notice the records will be destroyed.[4]

References[edit | edit source]

References will automatically be added here, see adding references tutorial.

  1. Florida House of Representatives. Find a Bill. http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/sections/bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=48038 (accessed April 20, 2012).
  2. Florida House of Representatives. CS/CS/CS/HB 799, Engrossed 1 2012 Legislature. http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Documents/loaddoc.aspx?FileName=_h0799er.docx&DocumentType=Bill&BillNumber=0799&Session=2012 (accessed April 20, 2012).
  3. Florida Administrative Weekly & Florida Administrative Code. Licensure of Physical Therapists. https://www.flrules.org/gateway/ChapterHome.asp?Chapter=64B17-3 (accessed April 20, 2012).
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Florida Administrative Weekly & Florida Administrative Code. Minimum Standards of Practice. https://www.flrules.org/gateway/ChapterHome.asp?Chapter=64B17-6 (accessed April 20, 2012).
  5. Florida Administrative Weekly & Florida Administrative Codes. Continuing Education. https://www.flrules.org/gateway/ChapterHome.asp?Chapter=64B17-9 (accessed April 20, 2012).

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.