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California Occupational Therapy Definitions 

ACOTE - The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education.

Appropriate Supervision of an Aide - That the responsible OT or OTA shall provide direct in-sight supervision when the aide is providing delegated client-related tasks and shall be readily available at all times to provide advice or instruction to the aide. The OT or OTA is responsible for documenting the client’s record concerning the delegated client-related tasks performed by the aide.

Aide - An individual who provides supportive services to an OT or OTA and who is trained by an OT or OTA to perform, under appropriate supervision, delegated, selected client and nonclient-related tasks for which the aide has demonstrated competency. A licensed OT or OTA may utilize the services of one aide engaged in client-related tasks to assist the OT or OTA in the practice of occupational therapy. The occupational therapist shall be responsible for the overall use and actions of the aide.

Association - The Occupational Therapy Association of California or a similarly constituted organization representing occupational therapists in California.

Board - The California Board of Occupational Therapy.

Code - The California Business and Professions Code.

Contact Hour - Sixty (60) minutes of coursework or classroom instruction.

Continuing Competence - A dynamic and multidimensional process in which the OT or OTA develops and maintains the knowledge, performance skills, interpersonal abilities, critical reasoning, and ethical reasoning skills necessary to perform current and future roles and responsibilities within the profession.

Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing or Endoscopy- The process of observing structures and function of the swallowing mechanism to include the nasopharynx, oropharynx, and hypopharynx.

Examination - An entry level examination for OTs and OTAs administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy or by another nationally recognized credentialing body.

Good Standing - The person has a current, valid license to practice occupational therapy or assist in the practice of occupational therapy and has not been disciplined by the recognized professional licensing or standard-setting body within five years prior to application or renewal of the person’s license.

Gross Negligence - An extreme departure from the standard of care, which under similar circumstances, would have been ordinarily exercised by a competent licensed professional.

Hand Therapy - The art and science of rehabilitation of the hand, wrist, and forearm requiring comprehensive knowledge of the upper extremity and specialized skills in assessment and treatment to prevent dysfunction, restore function, or reverse the advancement of pathology. This definition is not intended to prevent an occupational therapist practicing hand therapy from providing other occupational therapy services authorized under this act in conjunction with hand therapy.

Holder - The person to whom a license or limited permit has been issued by the board.

Incompetence - The lack of possession of or the failure to exercise that degree of knowledge, learning, skill, ability, care or experience ordinarily possessed and exercised by a competent licensed professional.

Instrumental Evaluation - The assessment of any aspect of swallowing using imaging studies that include, but are not limited to, endoscopy and videofluoroscopy.

License - The authority granted by the board to a person to offer occupational therapy as an OT or an OTA.

Limited Permit - The authority granted by the board to a person to offer occupational therapy services under the direction and appropriate supervision of a licensed OT.

Negligence - A departure from the standard of care, which under similar circumstances, would have been ordinarily exercised by a competent licensed professional.

The Occupational Therapy Practice Act- Chapter 5.6 of Division 2, of the Business and Professions Code.

Occupational Therapist - An individual who meets the minimum education requirements specified and is licensed and whose license is in good standing as determined by the board to practice occupational therapy. The occupational therapist is responsible for and directs the evaluation process and develops the intervention plan.

Occupational Therapy Assistant - An individual who is licensed, who is in good standing as determined by the board, and based thereon, who is qualified to assist in the practice of occupational therapy under this chapter, and who works under the appropriate supervision of a licensed OT.

Occupational Therapy - The therapeutic use of purposeful and meaningful goal-directed activities (occupations) 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 for clients with disability- and nondisability-related needs or to those who have, or are at risk of developing, health conditions that limit activity or cause participation restrictions.

Occupational Therapy Services - The services of an OT or the services of an OTA under the appropriate supervision of an OT.

Person - An individual, partnership, unincorporated organization, or corporation.

Physical Agent Modalities - Techniques that produce a response in soft tissue through the use of light, water, temperature, sound, or electricity. These techniques are used as adjunctive methods in conjunction with, or in immediate preparation for, occupational therapy services.

Post Professional Education and Training- Education and training obtained subsequent to the qualifying degree program or beyond current ACOTE standards for the qualifying degree program.

 Quarter Unit - Ten (10) contact hours.

Rehabilitation of the Hand, Wrist, and Forearm- Refers to occupational therapy services performed as a result of surgery or injury to the hand, wrist, or forearm.

Semester Unit - Fifteen (15) contact hours.

Swallowing - The passage of food, liquid, or medication through the pharyngeal and esophageal phases of the swallowing process.

Upper Extremity - Includes education relating to the hand, wrist, or forearm.

Videofluoroscopic Swallowing Study or Videofluoroscopy- The fluoroscopic recording and videotaping of the anatomy and physiology of the oral cavity, pharynx, and upper esophagus using a variety of bolus consistencies to assess swallowing function. This procedure may also be known as videofluorography, modified barium study, oral-pharyngeal motility study and videoradiography.


Cal. Bus. and Prof. Code § 2570.2

16 C.C.R. 4100

16 C.C.R. 4146

16 CCR § 4150

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