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Washington Physical Therapy FAQs

Welcome to our Washington Physical Therapy FAQs.  We've combined the state laws, board rules, and position statements to create a clear guide on the rules that must be followed by PTs and PTAs.  Members have full access to the material and can also email us regarding any billing or compliance issue, please consider joining today if you need assistance.  Learn more about how we provide comprehensive support for our members.  


Scope of Practice

    • How is physical therapy defined in Washington?
    • What is included in the practice of physical therapy?
    • Orthosis or Prosthesis
    • Wound Care
    • What is specifically excluded from the practice?
    • Are there any special trainings or requirements?

Topical Medications

    • Medications
    • Prescription Requirement

Sharp Debridement

    • Education and Training
    • Delegation

Electroneuromyography Examinations

    • Referral Requirement
    • Education and Training

Spinal Manipulation

    • Required Training and Education
    • Required Consult
    • Coordination with Chiropractor
    • Restricted Practice
    • Continuing Education


    • Definitions
    • Standard of Care and Records

Out-of-State PTs and PTAs

    • Can I practice in Washington if I am licensed in another state?
    • What is the process for getting reciprocity in Washington?


    • Personnel Identification
    • Requirements for posting notifications or licenses

Professional Conduct


    • Rebating Prohibited
    • Required Disclosure
    • Deemed Unprofessional Conduct

Continuing Education

    • How many continuing education hours are required during a reporting period?
    • Can CE credits be carried over into the next reporting period?
    • Are there any specific courses that must be taken?
    • What types of activities can be used for the continuing education requirements?
    • What type of approval is needed for the courses?
    • What are the reporting requirements?
    • Waivers and audits 

Referrals and Direct Access

    • Is a referral required to provide PT services?
    • Exceptions to the referral requirement?
    • Which providers can issue the referral?
    • When does a PT have to refer a patient to a physician?

Delegation and Supervision

    • What are the different levels of supervision?
    • Which services can only be performed by a PT?
    • What are the responsibilities of the PT when delegating?
    • What is the ratio between the supervising PT and assistive personnel?


    • Which services are PTAs allowed to practice?
    • Are there specific services that PTAs are prohibited from practicing?
    • What type of supervision is required?
    • When is a reevaluation required?
    • Does the supervising physical therapist need to co-sign documentation created by the PTA?
    • Required designation for assistants


    • What task can an aide perform?
    • What is an aide expressly prohibited from doing?
    • What are the responsibilities of the PT when delegating to an aide?
    • What type of supervision is required?
    • Required designation for aides

Students and Graduates

    • Can students practice in a clinical setting?
    • What kind of supervision is required for student PTs and PTAs?
    • How must students identify themselves?
    • What type of license/permit must new graduates receive before practicing?
    • What kind of supervision is required?
    • Applicant and supervisor responsibilities


    • What must be included in the patient record?
    • What are the physical therapist’s documentation responsibilities?
    • When is a reevaluation/reassessment required?


    • Prohibited advertising 

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Therapy Comply is a healthcare compliance firm that seeks to bring high quality web-based compliance guidance and one-on-one consulting services to small and medium size physical, occupational, and speech therapy practices.

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