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North Carolina Physical Therapy Definitions 

The North Carolina physical therapy legal and regulatory definitions. 

“Board” - The North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners.

“Computer Based Testing”- The Federation approved National Physical Therapist and Physical Therapist Assistant Examinations administered by a testing agency approved by the Federation.

“Credentials”- The materials related to educational background and professional experience that an applicant for licensure must present to the Board.

“Educational Programs”- Physical therapy and physical therapist assistant educational programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

“Endorsement”- Granting a license in this State based upon the applicant possessing an active license in another State.

“Federation”- Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.

“Graduated”- The completion of all requirements, including clinical experience, from an accredited program for physical therapists or physical therapist assistants. If an educational program certifies that the degree is assured and will be conferred at a later date, an applicant will be considered to have been graduated.

“Inappropriate Touching”- The unwelcome or unwanted laying of hands by a licensee for a purpose inconsistent with a physical therapy evaluation or treatment of a patient.

“Note”- The physical therapy progress note that documents each patient visit.

“On-Site Supervision”- The supervising licensee is present in the department or facility where services are provided, is immediately available to the person being supervised and maintains continued involvement in aspects of treatment sessions in which students completing clinical requirements or physical therapy aides are involved in components of care.

“Patient”- Any recipient of physical therapy services and includes the term "client".

“PT”- A Physical Therapist.

“PT exam”- A Federation approved licensing examination for physical therapists.

“PTA”- A Physical Therapist Assistant.

“PTA Exam”- A Federation approved licensing examination for physical therapist assistants.

“Physical Therapist” - Any person who practices physical therapy in North Carolina.

“Physical Therapist Assistant” - Any person who assists in the practice of physical therapy in North Carolina, and who works under the supervision of a physical therapist by performing such patient-related activities assigned by a physical therapist which are commensurate with the physical therapist assistant's education and training, but an assistant's work shall not include the interpretation and implementation of referrals from licensed medical doctors or dentists, the performance of evaluations, or the determination or major modification of treatment programs.

“Physical Therapy” - The evaluation or treatment of any person by the use of physical, chemical, or other properties of heat, light, water, electricity, sound, massage, or therapeutic exercise, or other rehabilitative procedures, with or without assistive devices, for the purposes of preventing, correcting, or alleviating a physical or mental disability. Physical therapy includes the performance of specialized tests of neuromuscular function, administration of specialized therapeutic procedures, interpretation and implementation of referrals from licensed medical doctors or dentists, and establishment and modification of physical therapy programs for patients.

“Physical Therapy Aide” - Any non-licensed person who aids in the practice of physical therapy in North Carolina, and who at all times acts under the orders, direction, and on-site supervision of a licensed physical therapist or physical therapist assistant. An aide may perform physical therapy related activities which are assigned and are commensurate with an aide's training and abilities, but an aide's work shall not include the interpretation and implementation of referrals from licensed medical doctors or dentists, the performance of evaluations, the determination and modification of treatment programs, or any independent performance of any physical therapy procedures

Reference

N.C.G.S. ยง 90-270.90

21 NCAC 48A .0105

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