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Alabama OT Survey
Updated: March 21, 2020
Scope of Practice
How is the practice of Occupational Therapy defined in Alabama?
The practice of occupational therapy means the therapeutic use of occupations, including everyday life activities with individuals, groups, populations, or organizations to support participation, performance, and function in roles and situations in home, school, workplace, community, and other settings. Occupational therapy services are provided for habilitation, rehabilitation, and the promotion of health and wellness to those who have or are at risk for developing an illness, injury, disease, disorder, condition, impairment, disability, activity limitation, or participation restriction. Occupational therapy addresses the physical, cognitive, psychosocial, sensory-perceptual, and other aspects of performance in a variety of contexts and environments to support engagement in occupations that affect physical and mental health, well-being, and quality of life.
What does the practice of occupational therapy include?
Evaluation of factors affecting activities of daily living (ADL), instrumental activities of daily living (IADL), rest and sleep, education, work, play, leisure, and social participation including all of the following:
Methods or approaches selected to direct the process of interventions such as:
Interventions and procedures to promote or enhance safety and performance in activities of daily living (ADL), instrumental activities of daily living (IADL), rest and sleep, education, work, play, leisure, and social participation including all of the following:
Services specifically excluded from the scope of practice
The Alabama Board of Occupational Therapy currently does not have rules or policy on telehealth.
Is a referral required to provide OT services?
Yes. No occupational therapy treatment programs to be rendered by an occupational therapist, occupational therapy assistant, or occupational therapy aide shall be initiated without the referral of a licensed physician, a licensed chiropractor, a licensed optometrist, a licensed assistant to a physician acting pursuant to a valid supervisory agreement, a licensed certified registered nurse practitioner in a collaborative practice agreement with a licensed physician, a licensed psychologist, or a licensed dentist who shall establish a diagnosis of the condition for which the individual will receive occupational therapy services.
In cases of long-term or chronic disease, disability, or dysfunction, or any combination of the foregoing, requiring continued occupational therapy services, the person receiving occupational therapy services shall be reevaluated by a licensed physician, a licensed chiropractor, a licensed optometrist, a licensed assistant to a physician acting pursuant to a valid supervisory agreement, a licensed certified registered nurse practitioner in a collaborative practice agreement with a licensed physician, a licensed psychologist, or a licensed dentist at least annually for confirmation or modification of the diagnosis.
Exceptions to the referral requirement?
Occupational therapists performing services that are not related to injury, disease, or illness that are performed in a wellness or community setting for the purposes of enhancing performance in everyday activities are exempt from this referral requirement.
Occupational therapists employed by state agencies and those employed by the public schools and colleges of this state who provide screening and rehabilitation services for the educationally related needs of the students are exempt from this referral requirement.
Role of the Occupational Therapist
Only a licensed occupational therapist shall:
Occupational Therapy Assistants
Which services are OTAs allowed to practice?
The occupational therapist shall ensure that the occupational therapy assistant is assigned only those duties and responsibilities for which the assistant has been specifically educated and which the occupational therapy assistant is qualified to perform.
Are there specific services that OTAs are prohibited from practicing?
A licensed occupational therapy assistant shall not:
What type of supervision is required?
A supervising occupational therapist shall supervise a licensed occupational therapy assistant as follows:
The following levels of supervision are minimal. An occupational therapist must assign an increased level of supervision if the occupational therapy assistant is new to a practice setting or particular skill. An occupational therapist must assign an increased level of supervision if necessary for the safety of a patient or client.
An occupational therapist may assign an increased level of supervision if necessary for the safety of a patient or client. The levels of supervision are:
An occupational therapist may supervise up to three (3) full-time occupational therapy assistants, but never more than two (2) occupational therapy assistants who require “direct” level of supervision. The total number of supervised occupational therapy assistants, occupational therapy personnel on a limited permit, and non-licensed occupational therapy personnel (including any occupational therapy students, occupational therapy assistant students, licensee applicants required to perform a perceptorship, and/or aides) may not exceed five (5) without prior Board approval.
Does the supervising physical therapist need to co-sign documentation created by the OTA?
Occupational Therapy Aides
A person who assists in the delivery of occupational therapy, who works under direct on-site supervision of an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant, or both, and whose activities require an understanding of occupational therapy but do not require professional or advanced training in the basic anatomical, biological, psychological, and social sciences involved in the practice of occupational therapy.
What can an aide do?
Any duties assigned to an occupational therapy aide must be determined and appropriately supervised by a licensed occupational therapist and must not exceed the level of training, knowledge, skill, and competence of the individual being supervised. The licensed occupational therapist is totally and wholly responsible for the acts or actions performed by any occupational therapy aide functioning in the occupational therapy setting.
Duties or functions which occupational therapy aides may perform include, but are not limited to:
What is an aide expressly prohibited from doing?
Duties or functions which occupational therapy aides shall not perform include, but are not limited to:
An aide/support personnel may assist in the delivery of occupational therapy; however, may not provide direct patient treatment.
Care rendered independently by an occupational therapy aide/support personnel shall not be charged as occupational therapy.
What type of supervision is required?
Direct Supervision: The supervising occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant is in the immediate area of the aide while performing supportive services.
How many CE hours are required for therapists?
An Occupational Therapist must obtain 1.5 CEUs (or 15 contact hours) annually or 3.0 CEUs (or 30 contact hours) biennially. No more than 1/3 of continuing education credits may be administration/management/academic related with the remainder related to direct patient treatment. No more than a 1/3 hours can be generated by the therapist’s professional presentations.
What are the CE requirements assistants?
An Occupational Therapy Assistant must obtain 1.0 CEU (or 10 contact hours) annually or 2.0 CEUs (or 20 contact hours) biennially. No more than 1/3 of continuing education credits may be administration/management/academic related with the remainder related to direct patient treatment. No more than a 1/3 hours can be generated by the therapist’s professional presentations.
How long is the continuing education period?
Due date for CE requirements
60 days prior to the expiration of the license.
Are there any specific course requirements?
Can extra CE credits be carried over to the next period?
How long to CE records need to be maintained?
Ala. Code §34-39-3
Ala. Admin. Code § 625-X-8-.01
Ala. Admin. Code § 625-X-8-.03
Ala. Admin. Code § 625-X-5-.02