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Ohio Physical Therapy Assistants

"Physical therapist assistant" means a person who assists in the provision of physical therapy treatments, including the provision of patient education and instruction, under the supervision of a physical therapist.

Which services are PTAs allowed to practice?

The physical therapist assistant may review medical information and/or review the patient's medical history and past functional ability through verbal contact with medical persons, family or the patient. This information may then be used by the physical therapist to determine the need for a patient evaluation.

The physical therapist assistant may progress a patient treatment program within the parameters of the plan of care as established by the supervising physical therapist.

The physical therapist may assign treatment procedures beyond the scope of entry level physical therapist assistant practice in accordance with the physical therapist assistant's ability, provided that both the supervising physical therapist and the physical therapist assistant have documented training and demonstrated competency in the procedure.

A physical therapist assistant may adjust a treatment procedure in accordance with a change in patient status within the established plan of care.

A physical therapist assistant may respond to inquiries regarding patient status to appropriate parties within the healthcare system and within the protocol established by the supervising physical therapist.

The physical therapist assistant shall refer inquiries regarding a patient's prognosis to the supervising physical therapist. The physical therapist assistant may reinforce the physical therapist's position regarding the patient's prognosis.

The physical therapist assistant may gather historical information about a patient to perform a screening that may determine the need for physical therapy intervention. This type of screening does not include physical contact with the patient.

Are there specific services that PTAs are prohibited from practicing?

A physical therapist assistant may not initiate or alter the plan of care without prior evaluation by and approval of the supervising physical therapist.

Physical therapist assistants are not qualified to:

    • Interpret physician referrals;
    • Conduct initial patient evaluations;
    • Write initial or ongoing patient plans of care;
    • Conduct re-evaluations of the patient or make changes to the patient plan of care; or
    • Perform the discharge evaluation and complete the final discharge summary.

What type of supervision is required?

A physical therapist assistant may only be supervised by a physical therapist and may not be supervised by any other person, including those persons licensed to practice in any other profession.

Supervision for a physical therapist assistant does not require the supervising physical therapist to be on-site or on location. The supervising physical therapist must be available by telecommunication at all times and able to respond appropriately to the needs of the patient.

Who is the supervising physical therapist?

"Supervising physical therapist" means the physical therapist who is available to supervise the physical therapist assistant, the student physical therapist or student physical therapist assistant, other licensed personnel, or unlicensed personnel. The supervising physical therapist may be the physical therapist who performed the initial examination or another physical therapist with whom that physical therapist has a formal or informal agreement.

What are the assistant’s documentation responsibilities?

The physical therapist assistant shall document in the medical record according to the established protocols.

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

All documentation shall be co-signed by the supervising physical therapist.

The co-signature shall indicate that the supervising physical therapist reviewed the written note and agrees with the patient information in the written note. A handwritten signature or electronic signature is acceptable whenever a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant signs his or her name.

What is the ratio between supervising PTs and PTAs?

N/A

Required designation for assistants

All physical therapist assistants shall use the credential "PTA" following their signature to indicate licensure as a physical therapist assistant.

Reference

Ohio Rev. Code §4755.40

Ohio Admin. Code § 4755-27-01

Ohio Admin. Code § 4755-27-02

Ohio Admin. Code § 4755-27-04

Ohio Admin. Code § 4755-27-07

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