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Alabama Physical Therapy Assistants 

Definition of a PTA

A person who assists in the practice of physical therapy and whose activities require an understanding of physical therapy but do not require professional or advance training in the anatomical, biological, and physical sciences involved in the practice of physical therapy. The physical therapist assistant shall practice only under the direction of a licensed physical therapist. 

What are the roles and responsibilities of PTAs in practice?

The roles and responsibilities of a person licensed by this Board to practice as a physical therapist assistant in the State of Alabama generally are:

    • To practice only under the direction of a physical therapist licensed to practice in the State of Alabama.
    • To assist with but not perform patient disability evaluations.
    • To perform treatment procedures as delegated by the physical therapist but not to initiate or alter a treatment plan.
    • To supervise other supportive personnel as charged by the physical therapist.
    • To perform clerical, housekeeping, or other tasks as designated by the physical therapist.
    • To notify the physical therapist of changes in patient's status, including all untoward patient responses.
    • To discontinue immediately any treatment procedures which in their judgment appear to be harmful to the patient.
    • 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 assistant students who are on clinical experiences approved by their school as part of their CAPTE approved educational program.

Are there specific services that PTAs are prohibited from practicing?

N/A

What type of supervision is required?

PTAs must practice under the direction of a licensed PT.

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.

What are the assistant’s documentation responsibilities?

N/A

Does the supervising physical therapist need to co-sign documentation created by the PTA?

N/A

What is the ratio between supervising PTs and PTAs?

No more than four (4) licensed PTAs at one time.

Required designation for assistants

When using an abbreviated title, the physical therapist assistant should use the letters PTA.

Reference

Ala. Admin. Code r. 700-X-3-.03

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