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Tennessee PT Scope of Practice
The Practice of Physical Therapy
"Practice of physical therapy" means:
Manual Therapy Techniques
Consist of a broad group of passive interventions in which physical therapists use their hands to administer skilled movements designed to modulate pain; increase joint range of motion; reduce or eliminate soft tissue swelling, inflammation, or restriction; induce relaxation; improve contractile and noncontractile tissue extensibility; and improve pulmonary functions. These interventions involve a variety of techniques, such as the application of graded forces, which are not performed beyond the joint’s normal range of motion. These interventions may be applied to all joints of the body as deemed appropriate.
What services are expressly prohibited?
The scope of practice of physical therapy shall not include the performance of treatment where the physical therapist or physical therapist assistant uses direct thrust to move a joint of the patient's spine beyond its normal range of motion without exceeding the limits of anatomical integrity.
The Tennessee Board of Physical Therapy takes the position that performing fingerstick techniques (such as glucometer readings, coumadin readings, etc.) is within the scope of practice of a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant licensed in the State of Tennessee, so long as such activities are performed and called for during the course of the practice of physical therapy as provided under Tennessee Code Annotated § 63-13-301 et seq.
This policy in no way abrogates the duty to refer patients to appropriate health care practitioners as set forth under Tennessee Code Annotated § 63-13-302.
The Board of Physical Therapy is adopting this policy for the protection of patients from harm, to enhance the care provided by licensees, and to provide guidance to licensees.
The Board of Physical Therapy adopted the above policy on August 20, 2010.
Tenn. Code Ann. § 63-13-103
Tenn. Code Ann. § 63-13-104
Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1150-01-.01