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New Jersey Physical Therapy Assistants 

Which services are PTAs allowed to practice?

The PTA may participate in collecting data for the examination of the patient.

A PTA may provide services within the physical therapy scope of practice.

Are there specific services that PTAs are prohibited from practicing?

Any interpretation of the data or assessment shall be made by the supervising PT.

A PTA shall not perform a physical therapy examination, evaluation, diagnosis or prognosis, develop a plan of care, modify a plan of care, or independently engage in physical therapy instruction.

What type of supervision is required?

Direct or general supervision.

A PT shall make an onsite visit and actively participate in the treatment of the patient at least every six (6) patient visits or every fourteen (14) days, whichever occurs first.

A PT shall not provide general supervision of a PTA until the PTA has practiced, either in New Jersey or in another state, for at least one (1) year. A PT shall ensure that a PTA has worked, either in New Jersey or in another state, for at least one year prior to providing general supervision of that PTA.

When providing PT services under direct supervision, a PTA shall, at least once every thirty (30) days after initial review of a new or revised plan of care with the supervising PT, document in the patient record that the patient's progress and plan of care were reviewed with the supervising PT, including the dates when those reviews took place. Such documentation may be incorporated into progress notes or treatment notes written by the PT or PTA and need not require separate or additional notes.

When the supervising physical therapist is off-site

When supervising a PTA in any off-site setting, the following requirements shall be observed:

    • A PT shall be accessible by telecommunications to the PTA at all times while the physical therapist assistant is treating patients.
    • There shall be regularly scheduled and documented conferences or communications between the PT and the PTA regarding patients, the frequency of which is determined by the needs of the patient and the needs of the physical therapist assistant.
    • In those situations in which a PTA is involved in the care of a patient, a supervisory visit by the physical therapist is to be made: upon the PTA’s request for a reexamination; when a change in the plan of care is needed; prior to any planned discharge; and in response to a change in the patient's medical status.

What are the assistant’s documentation responsibilities?

A PTA shall document treatments in the patient record.

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

The supervising PT must review and cosign contemporaneously the PTA’s entries into the patient record.

If patient records are maintained on a computer recordkeeping system that does not permit a supervising PT to cosign a PTA’s notes, the supervising licensed physical therapist shall enter a separate note in the patient record indicating that he or she has reviewed the PTA’s notes.

What is the ratio between supervising PTs and PTAs?

The maximum PT to PTA ratio shall be one (1) PT to two (2) PTAs at any one time.

What is the required designation for assistants?

Any person who holds a license as a physical therapist assistant pursuant to this act may use the title "physical therapist assistant," "licensed physical therapist assistant," or the abbreviations "PTA" or "LPTA."

All licensees shall conspicuously wear a name tag using the term "physical therapist" or "physical therapist assistant," as appropriate, whenever acting in that capacity. The letters on the tag shall be at least one-quarter inch in size.

Reference

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 45:9-37.20

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 45:9-37.31

NJAC § 13:39A-2.3

NJAC § 13:39A-3.9

NJAC §13:39A-7.1


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