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North Dakota Physical Therapy Definitions

The North Dakota physical therapy legal and regulatory definitions.  

“A School of Physical Therapy or a Program of Physical Therapist Assistant Training”- A nationally accredited program approved by the board.

“Board” - The North Dakota Board of Physical Therapy.

“Consultation by Telehealth”- A physical therapist renders professional or expert opinion or advice to another physical therapist or professional health care provider via electronic communications or computer technology from a distant location. The patient's written or verbal consent will be obtained and documented prior to such consultation. All records used or resulting from a consultation by means of telehealth are part of a patient's record and are subject to applicable confidentiality requirements.

“Continuing Competence”- The lifelong process of maintaining and documenting competence through ongoing self-assessment, development and implementation of a personal learning plan, and subsequent reassessment.

“Competence” - The application of knowledge, skills, and behaviors required to function effectively, safely, ethically, and legally within the context of the patient's or client's environment.

“Direct Supervision” - The supervising physical therapist is physically present on the premises and immediately available for direction and supervision, has direct contact with the patient during each visit, and completes all components of care requiring skilled therapy services. Telehealth does not meet the requirement for direct supervision.

“Electronic Communications” - The science and technology of communication over a distance by electronic transmission of impulses, including activities involving or using electronic communications to store, organize, send, retrieve, and convey information.

“Examination” - A national examination approved by the board for the licensure of a physical therapist or the licensure of a physical therapist assistant.

“General Supervision” - The supervising physical therapist is onsite and present where services are provided or is immediately available to the physical therapist assistant being supervised by means of electronic communications, maintains continual involvement in the appropriate aspects of patient care, and has primary responsibility for all patient care services rendered by a physical therapist assistant.

“Manual Therapy” - The use of techniques such as mobilization or manipulation, manual lymphatic drainage, and manual traction on one or more regions of the body.

“Onsite Supervision” - The supervising physical therapist is onsite and present in the department or facility where services are provided, is immediately available to the individual being supervised, and maintains continued involvement in appropriate aspects of each treatment session in which a student physical therapist or a student physical therapist assistant is involved in components of care.

“Physical Therapist” - An individual licensed in North Dakota to practice physical therapy.

“Physical Therapist Assistant” - An individual licensed in North Dakota and who assists the physical therapist in selected components of physical therapy intervention.

“Physical Therapy” - The care and services provided by or under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist licensed under this chapter.

“Physical Therapy Aide” - An individual trained under the direction of a physical therapist who performs designated and supervised routine tasks related to physical therapy.

“Practice of Physical Therapy” - Examining, evaluating, and testing individuals with mechanical, physiological, and developmental impairments, functional limitations in movement and mobility, and disabilities or other health and movement-related conditions to determine a diagnosis for physical therapy, prognosis, and plan of therapeutic intervention, and to assess the ongoing effects of intervention.

“Restricted License” - A physical therapist or physical therapist assistant means a license on which the board places restrictions or conditions, or both, as to scope of practice, place of practice, supervision of practice, duration of licensed status, or type or condition of patient or client to whom the licensee may provide services. 16. "Student" is an individual who is currently engaged in the fulfillment of a physical therapy or physical therapist assistant educational program approved by the board.

“Supportive Personnel” - Physical therapist assistants and physical therapy aides working in a physical therapy setting.

“Telehealth” - The use of electronic communications to provide and deliver health-related information and health care services, including physical therapy-related information and services, over any distance. Telehealth encompasses health care and health promotion activities, including education, advice, reminders, interventions, and the monitoring of interventions.

“Testing” - Standard methods and techniques used to gather data about the patient.


N.D. Cent. Code § 43-26.1-01

N.D. Admin. Code 61.5-01-02-01

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