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Tennessee OT Aides

What is the definition of an aide?

"Unlicensed person working in occupational therapy" means a person who performs specific supportive tasks related to occupational therapy practice under the direct supervision of an occupational therapist or an occupational therapy assistant and whose activities do not require professional or advanced training in the basic anatomical, biological, psychological and social sciences involved in the provision of occupational therapy services. Such persons are often referred to as aides, technicians, transporters or support staff.

What can an aide do?

Tasks that may be delegated may include:

    • Transporting of patients;
    • Preparing or setting up a work area or equipment;
    • Routine department maintenance or housekeeping activities;
    • Taking care of patient's personal needs during treatments; and
    • Clerical, secretarial or administrative duties.

What are the responsibilities of the OT when delegating to an aide?

The physician, occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant accepts professional responsibility for the performance of that duty by the person to whom it is delegated. In the case of duties delegated by an occupational therapy assistant, the occupational therapy assistant, the physician and occupational therapist who supervises the occupational therapy assistant shall be responsible

The licensed physician, Occupational Therapist or Occupational Therapy Assistant accepts professional responsibility for the performance of that duty by the personnel to whom it is delegated. In the case of duties delegated by a OTA, the licensed physician, Occupational Therapist or Occupational Therapy Assistant who supervises the technician will be responsible; and

    • The unlicensed personnel do not perform any duties which require licensure; and
    • The licensed physician, Occupational Therapist or Occupational Therapy Assistant ensures that the unlicensed personnel have been appropriately trained for the performance of the tasks.

What type of supervision is required?

Supervision of an unlicensed person shall be as follows:

    • There shall be close supervision with daily, direct contact at site of treatment, which demands the physical presence of a licensed physician, Occupational Therapist or Occupational Therapy Assistant, whenever the unlicensed person assists in the practice of Occupational Therapy.
    • There shall be personal instruction, observation and evaluation by the licensed physician, Occupational Therapist or Occupational Therapy Assistant.
    • There shall be specific delineation of tasks and responsibilities by the licensed physician, Occupational Therapist or Occupational Therapy Assistant who is responsible for reviewing and interpreting the results of care. The licensed physician, Occupational Therapist or Occupational Therapy Assistant must ensure that the unlicensed person does not perform duties for which he is not trained.

Appropriate records must be maintained to document compliance.

The intensity of the supervision is determined by the nature of the task to be performed, the needs of the consumer, and the capability of the unlicensed person.

Citations

Tenn. Code Ann. § 63-13-103

Tenn. Code Ann. § 63-13-207

Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1150-02-.10

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