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Alaska Physical Therapy Definitions 

The Alaska physical therapy legal and regulatory definitions.

“Board” - The State Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Board.

“Continual On-Site Supervision”- The supervising physical therapist or physical therapy assistant:

    • Is present in the department or facility where services are being provided;
    • Is immediately available to the non-licensed personnel being supervised; and
    • Maintains continual oversight of patient-related duties performed by the non-licensed personnel.

“Internship”- Postgraduate on-the-job training of physical therapists or physical therapy assistants, approved by the board.

“Non-Licensed Personnel”:

    • Personnel who are
      • Used by a licensed physical therapist or physical therapy assistant to deliver patient-related duties and non-patient related duties related to the practice of physical therapy; and
      • Trained under the direction of a licensed physical therapist or physical therapy assistant to perform designated non-patient related duties and patient-related duties related to the practice of physical therapy;
    • Includes personnel who are referred to as "aides", "technicians", or "techs".

“Non-Patient Related Duties”- Clerical and maintenance activities and preparation of the work area or equipment.

“Patient-Related Duties”- Routine tasks that do not require the education, skill, and training of a physical therapist or physical therapy assistant, and for which the

    • Outcome anticipated for the task is predictable;
    • Situation of the patient and the environment is stable and will not require that judgment, interpretations, or adaptations be made by non-licensed personnel; and
    • Task routine and process have been clearly established.

“Physical Therapist” - A person who practices physical therapy.

“Physical Therapy” - The examination, treatment and instruction of human beings to detect, assess, prevent, correct, alleviate and limit physical disability, bodily malfunction, pain from injury, disease and other bodily or mental conditions and includes the administration, interpretation and evaluation of tests and measurements of bodily functions and structures; the planning, administration, evaluation and modification of treatment and instruction including the use of physical measures, activities and devices for preventive and therapeutic purposes; the provision of consultative, educational and other advisory services for the purpose of reducing the incidence and severity of physical disability, bodily malfunction and pain; “physical therapy” does not include the use of roentgen rays and radioactive materials for diagnosis and therapeutic purposes, the use of electricity for surgical purposes, and the diagnosis of disease.

“Physical Therapy Assistant” - A person who assists in the practice of physical therapy or portions of it as initiated, supervised, and terminated by a licensed physical therapist; a physical therapy assistant’s responsibilities do not include testing or evaluation.

“Supervision”- Requirements:

    • The licensed physical therapist will be present whenever a patient is evaluated, a treatment program is established, or a treatment program is changed; and
    • The licensed physical therapist is present to personally review the diagnosis of the condition to be treated, to authorize the procedure, and before dismissal of the patient, to evaluate the performance of the treatment given.


AS § 08.84.190

12 AAC 54.590

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