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Tennessee PT Aides

What is the definition of an aide?

"Physical therapy aide," inclusive of the terms "aide," "technician" and "transporter," means a person trained by and under the direction of a physical therapist who performs designated and supervised routine physical therapy tasks.

What can an aide do?

A physical therapist may use physical therapy aides for designated tasks that do not require clinical decision making by the licensed physical therapist or clinical problem solving by the licensed physical therapist assistant.

What type of supervision is required?

Direct supervision must apply to physical therapy aides and is interpreted to mean that services are provided under the supervision of an on-site physical therapist or physical therapist assistant licensed and practicing in Tennessee.

“On-site supervision” means the supervising physical therapist or physical therapist assistant must:

    • Be continuously on-site and present in the department or facility where assistive personnel are performing services; and
    • Be immediately available to assist the person being supervised in the services being performed; and
    • Maintain continued involvement in appropriate aspects of each treatment session in which a component of treatment is delegated to assistive personnel.

What is the ratio between supervising PTs and aides?

A physical therapist may concurrently supervise no more than the equivalent of three (3) full-time physical therapist assistants. A physical therapist may concurrently supervise no more than the equivalent of two (2) full-time assistive personnel or physical therapy aides. A physical therapist assistant may concurrently supervise no more than the equivalent of two (2) full-time physical therapy aides.

Other Assistive Personnel

A physical therapist may use other assistive personnel for selected physical therapy designated tasks consistent with the training, education, or regulatory authority of such personnel. Other assistive personnel (nationally certified exercise physiologists or certified athletic trainer and massage therapists, etc) must perform the delegated task under the on-site supervision of a physical therapist. The physical therapist shall then co-sign all related documentation in the patient records.


Tenn. Code Ann. ยง 63-13-103

Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1150-01-.02

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