United States Physical Therapy Practice Acts

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Temporary License Requirements/Availability[edit | edit source]

Washington State allows for temporary licensure given that the applicant meets the minimum qualifications to practice PT, and must be under "Graduate supervision" (see defenition of supervision below) of a licensed PT. The applicant can only hold the temporary license for six months, and must pass the licensure exam on the first attempt. If the applicant does not pass on first attempt they will lose their temporary license.

Graduate supervision is defined as supervision of a holder of an interim permit by a licensed physical therapist who is on the premises at all times.  Graduate supervision shall include consultation regarding evaluation, treatment plan, treatment program, and progress of each assigned patient at appropriate intervals and be documented by cosignature of notes by the licensed physical therapist.

An applicant who has not previously taken the physical therapy examination or an applicant who has not previously held an interim or temporary permit in Washington or another state, may be eligible for an interim permit upon submission of the following:

(1) Payment of the application fee;

(2) Evidence of having obtained a physical therapy degree from a board approved school;

(3) Completed a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant license application on which the applicant:

(a) Requests to receive an interim permit;

(b) Provides the name, location and telephone number of his or her place of employment;

(c) Provides the name and license number of his or her licensed supervising physical therapist; and

(d) Provides written confirmation from the licensed supervising physical therapist attesting that he or she will:

(i) Ensure that a licensed physical therapist will remain on the premises at all times to provide "graduate supervision"

(ii) Report to the board any change in supervision or any change in location where services are provided;

(iii) Ensure that the holder of the interim permit wears identification showing his or her clinical title and/or role in the facility as a graduate physical therapist; and

(iv) Ensure that the holder of the interim permit ceases practice immediately upon notification of examination failure; or

(v) Ensure that the holder of the interim permit obtains his or her physical therapist or physical therapist assistant license immediately upon notification of having passed the examination.

Requirements for License[edit | edit source]

An applicant for a license as a physical therapist shall have the following minimum qualifications:

Be of good moral character.

Have obtained either a baccalaureate degree in physical therapy from an institution of higher learning approved by the board, or a baccalaureate degree from an institution of higher learning and a certificate or advanced degree from a school of physical therapy approved by the board.

Supervision[edit | edit source]

Supervision of assistive personnel means:

Physical therapist assistants may function under direct or indirect supervision.

Physical therapy aides must function under direct supervision.

The physical therapist may supervise a total of TWO assistive personnel at any one time.

"Direct supervision" means the supervising physical therapist must (a) be continuously on-site and present in the department or facility where assistive personnel or holders of interim permits are performing services; (b) be immediately available to assist the person being supervised in the services being performed; and (c) maintain continued involvement in appropriate aspects of each treatment session in which a component of treatment is delegated to assistive personnel.

"Indirect supervision" means the supervisor is not on the premises, but has given either written or oral instructions for treatment of the patient and the patient has been examined by the physical therapist at such time as acceptable health care practice requires and consistent with the particular delegated health care task.

Physical Therapy Students[edit | edit source]

The practice act states "the practice of physical therapy by students enrolled in approved schools as may be incidental to their course of study so long as such activities do not go beyond the scope of practice defined by this chapter."

Continued Competence[edit | edit source]

Licensed physical therapists and physical therapist assistants must provide evidence of continuing competency in the form of continuing education and employment related to physical therapy every two years.

Education - Licensed physical therapists must complete 40 hours of continuing education every two years.
The physical therapist must complete 200 hours involving the application of physical therapy knowledge and skills.

Licensees must maintain records of all activities relating to continuing education and professional experience for a period of four years. Acceptable documentation shall is:

Continuing education.
• Certificates of completion, course sponsors, goals and objectives of the course, credentials of the presenter as a recognized authority on the subject presented, dates of attendance and total hours, for all continuing education being reported.

Audio or video recordings or other multimedia devices, and/or book/article review.
• A two-page synopsis of each item reviewed must be written by the licensee.

• For audio or video recordings or other multimedia devices, a two-page double-spaced synopsis for every one to four hours of running time must be written by the licensee. Time spent writing a synopsis is not reportable.

• For book/article review, a two-page double-spaced synopsis on each subject reviewed must be written by the licensee. Time spent writing a synopsis is not reportable.

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

The practice act states that the use of spinal manipulation, or manipulative mobilization of the spine and its immediate articulations, are not included under the term "physical therapy"

The act further states that "spinal manipulation" or "manipulative mobilization" means movement beyond the normal physiological range of motion.

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

References[edit | edit source]

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

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.