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Florida Physical Therapy Delegation to Aides

What can an aide do?

Unlicensed Supportive Personnel may be utilized to help in the treatment being provided by a licensed physical therapist or licensed physical therapist assistant.

What is an aide expressly prohibited from doing?

Those activities that require the special knowledge, judgment, and skills of the physical therapist, which include:

    • The initial evaluation or any subsequent reevaluation of the patient.
    • Interpretations of the initial evaluation or subsequent reevaluation.
    • Establishment or revision of the physical therapy goals.
    • Development or alteration of the plan of care.
    • Evaluation and interpretation of the progress of the patient in relationship to the plan of care.

Those activities that require the special knowledge, judgment, and skills of the physical therapist assistant, which include:

    • Subsequent reassessments of the patient.
    • Assessment of the progress of the patient in relationship to the plan of care.

What are the responsibilities of the PT when delegating to an aide?

It is the sole responsibility of the physical therapist to consider the task delegated, select the appropriately trained personnel to perform the task, communicate the task or activity desired of the unlicensed personnel, verify the understanding by the unlicensed personnel chosen for the task or activity, and establish procedures for the monitoring of the tasks or activities delegated.

The physical therapist shall retain ultimate responsibility for the patient’s physical therapy treatment.

Any delegation of treatment to supportive personnel shall be done with consideration of the education, training, and experience of the support personnel. It is the sole responsibility of the physical therapist to define and delineate the education, training, and experience required to perform duties within the physical therapy practice setting, in writing as a part of the practice policies and procedures.

Education and Training

Education entails a technical or professional degree or certification in a specific practice area providing for background and experience.

Qualification by training is the learning of tasks performed and delegated to individuals within the physical therapy practice.

    • The physical therapist shall define the procedures to be used to train unlicensed personnel to perform patient care related tasks or activities within the practice.
    • It is the responsibility of the physical therapist to insure that the necessary training occurred prior to the delegation of a patient care task or activity to unlicensed personnel.

Competency is demonstrated ability to carry out specific functions with reasonable skill and safety. It is the responsibility of the physical therapist to assure competency in delegated skills relative to the tasks delegated.

What type of supervision is required?

Direct supervision under a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant.

Documentation

Patient progress notes. The unlicensed personnel may document tasks and activities of patients during the patient treatment.

Reference

Fla. Admin. Code ยง 64B17-6.001

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