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Oregon PT Assistants

Definition of a PTA

“Physical therapist assistant” means a person who assists a physical therapist in the administration of selected components of physical therapy intervention. A physical therapist assistant works under the supervision and direction of the physical therapist.

What are PTAs allowed to do?

A physical therapist assistant may prepare a final summary of a patient’s physical therapy status upon discharge as provided in OAR 848-040-0165.

What activities are expressly prohibited?

A physical therapist assistant shall not:

    • Perform an initial evaluation.
    • Perform the required reassessment provided in OAR 848-040-0155. However, a physical therapist assistant may participate with the physical therapist in gathering data to be included in the required reassessment of a patient for whom the assistant has been providing treatment.
    • Independently make modifications to the plan of care or objective goals. However, an assistant may collaborate with the physical therapist in making modifications or changes to the plan of care or goals based on the assistant's treatment of that patient and the patient's condition, progress or response to the treatment.
    • Independently make the decision to discharge a patient from therapy. However, a physical therapist assistant may make recommendations regarding discharge to the supervising physical therapist based on the assistant's treatment of the patient.
    • Perform high velocity manipulation of the spine or peripheral joints.

What are the responsibilities of the PT when delegating to a PTA?

A physical therapist assistant may provide physical therapy treatment only after a physical therapist has performed an initial evaluation and prepared a plan of care.

What type of therapist supervision is required?

“Supervising physical therapist” means either the last physical therapist to see the patient, or the physical therapist designated as in charge of the patient on the day the patient is being treated.

For purposes of the provision of physical therapy services, a physical therapist assistant shall practice solely under the clinical supervision and direction of a physical therapist.

A physical therapist assistant may provide physical therapy treatment only when a supervising physical therapist is available. As used in this rule “available” means that at all times a supervising physical therapist is readily accessible for consultation with the assistant, either in person or by means of telecommunications.


ORS 688.010

OAR 848-015-0010

OAR 848-015-0030

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