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Alabama PT Supervision and Delegation

Supervision and Delegation

Supervision Definitions

"Direction" means the action of the PT in delegating duties to a PTA, maintaining close communication with the PTA, and overseeing the PTA's activities on a frequent regularly scheduled basis.

"Supervision" means the direct onsite overseeing of the performance of assigned or delegated duties or functions.

What are the Responsibilities of the Physical Therapist?

The roles and responsibilities of a person licensed to practice physical therapy in the State of Alabama generally are:

    • To interpret a practitioner’s referral;
    • To perform and document the initial evaluation, as well as the physical therapy plan of care which may include:
      • Diagnosis rendered by the referring or previously diagnosing health care provider;
      • Diagnosis for physical therapy;
      • Presenting problems;
      • Past medical history including, but not limited to, conditions for which patient is taking medication and conditions which are currently being treated by a physician;
      • List of medications being taken by the patient;
      • Objective findings of the physical therapy evaluation;
      • Assessment as to what the current problem(s) is/are that require physical therapy intervention;
      • Goals, both short-term and long-term if appropriate; and
      • Physical therapy plan of treatment including frequency and duration.
    • To identify and document precautions, special problems, contraindications, anticipated progress, and plans for reevaluation.
    • To implement and supervise that program.
    • To select and delegate the appropriate portions of the treatment plan and program.
    • To delegate only those patient care duties to supportive personnel who are qualified under the provisions of these rules to perform such duties.
    • To reevaluate the patient and adjust the treatment plan, perform the final evaluation of the patient and discharge planning.
    • To designate or establish channels of written and oral communication.
    • To maintain adequate records of the case and report to appropriate sources.
    • To refuse to carry out treatment procedures that they believe to be not in the best interest of the patient.
    • To provide supervision of physical therapist and/or physical therapist assistant students who are on clinical experiences approved by their school as part of their Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) approved educational program.

General Responsibilities when Supervising/Delegating

The PT must assume primary responsibility for physical therapy care rendered under his/her supervision or direction. Both direction and supervision include, when appropriate, observation of the application of physical therapy procedures, conferences related to patient progress, verbal and written reports.


Ala. Admin. Code r. 700-X-3-.03

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