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Georgia PT Principles of Conduct for Physical Therapists

Act with consideration, within the scope of physical therapy, for the rights and dignity of all individuals.

    • The physical therapist shall hold as confidential information obtained while acting in a professional capacity.
    • The physical therapist shall provide optimal physical therapy care for all patients regardless of patient race, gender, age, religion, disability or sexual preference.
    • The physical therapist should balance considerations of the patient's physical, psychological and socioeconomic welfare in professional decisions and actions and document these considerations in the patient's record of care.
    • The physical therapist shall communicate and interact with patients and all persons encountered in a professional capacity with courteous regard and timeliness.
    • The physical therapist shall not engage in any behavior that constitutes harassment or abuse of a patient, professional colleague or associate.

Comply with the laws and regulations governing the practice of physical therapy in the State of Georgia.

    • Physical therapists are to practice (consultation, evaluations, treatment, research, education, administration and preventive care) in accordance with the state practice act.

Accept responsibility for the exercise of sound judgment.

    • When implementing treatment, physical therapists shall assume the responsibility for evaluating that individual; planning, implementing, and supervising the therapeutic program; reevaluating and changing the program; and maintaining adequate records of the case, including progress reports.
    • When performing wellness and preventative services, physical therapists shall assume responsibility for providing optimal patient care.
    • When the individual's needs are beyond the scope of the physical therapist's expertise, the physical therapist shall so inform and assist the individual in identifying a qualified person to provide the necessary services.
    • When the physical therapists judge that benefit can no longer be obtained from their services, they shall so inform the individual receiving the services. It is unethical to initiate or continue services that, in the therapist's judgment, either cannot result in beneficial outcome or are contraindicated.
    • The physical therapist's ability to make independent judgment must not be limited or compromised by professional affiliations, including employment relationships.
    • Physical therapists are not to delegate to a less qualified person any activity which requires the unique skills, knowledge, and judgment of a physical therapist.
    • The primary responsibility for physical therapy care assisted by supportive personnel rests with the supervising physical therapist. Adequate supervision requires, at a minimum, that a supervising physical therapist perform the following activities:
      • Establish effective channels of written and oral communication;
      • Interpret and communicate critical information about the patient to the supportive personnel;
      • Perform an initial evaluation of the patient;
      • Develop a plan of care, including short and long-term goals;
      • Delegate appropriate tasks to supportive personnel;
      • Assess the supportive personnel's competence to perform assigned tasks;
      • Provide supervision in accordance with the law, the patient's condition, and the specific situation;
      • Identify and document precautions, special programs, contraindications, goals, anticipated progress, and plans for re-evaluation;
      • Re-evaluate the patient, modify the plan of care when necessary, perform the final evaluation, and establish a follow-up plan.
    • Physical therapists are obligated to advise their employer(s) of any practice which causes a physical therapist to be in conflict with the ethical principles of this section. Physical therapists are to attempt to rectify any aspect(s) of their employment which is in conflict with the principles.

Seek remuneration for their services that is deserved and reasonable.

    • Fees for physical therapy services should be reasonable for the service performed, considering the setting in which it is provided, practice costs in the geographic area, judgment of other organizations, and other relevant factors.
    • Physical therapists shall not:
      • Directly or indirectly request, receive, or participate in the dividing, transferring, assigning, or rebating of an unearned fee;
      • Profit by means of a credit or other valuable consideration, such as an unearned commission, discount, or gratuity in connection with furnishing of physical therapy services;
      • Use influence upon individuals, or families of individuals under their care for utilization of any product or service based upon the direct or indirect financial interest of the physical therapist.

Provide accurate information to the consumer about the profession and the services provided.

    • Physical therapists are not to use, or participate in the use of, any form of communication containing false, plagiarized, fraudulent, misleading, deceptive, or unfair statements.

Accept the responsibility to protect the public and the profession from unethical, incompetent, or illegal acts.

    • Physical therapists shall report any activity which appears to be unethical, incompetent, or illegal to the proper authorities.
    • Physical therapists shall not participate in any arrangement in which patients are exploited due to the referring sources enhancing their personal incomes as a result of referring, prescribing, or recommending physical therapy or a specific physical therapy practice.
    • If a physical therapist is involved in an arrangement with a referring source in which income is derived from the services, the physical therapist has an obligation to disclose to the patient, within the scope of the state law, the nature of the income.

Reference

Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 490-9-.02

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