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Wisconsin PT Assistants

Definition of a PTA

A physical therapist assistant may assist a physical therapist in the practice of physical therapy if the physical therapist provides direct or general supervision of the physical therapist assistant.

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

In providing general supervision, the physical therapist shall do all of the following:

    • Have primary responsibility for physical therapy care rendered by the physical therapist assistant.
    • Have direct face−to−face contact with the physical therapist assistant at least every fourteen (14) calendar days, unless the board approves another type of contact.
    • Remain accessible to telecommunications in the interim between direct contacts while the physical therapist assistant is providing patient care.
    • Establish a written policy and procedure for written and oral communication. This policy and procedure shall include a specific description of the supervisory activities undertaken for the physical therapist assistant as well as a description of the manner by which the physical therapist shall manage all aspects of patient care. The amount of supervision shall be appropriate to the setting and the services provided
    • Provide initial patient examination, evaluation and interpretation of referrals and create the initial patient record for every patient the physical therapist treats.
    • Develop and revise as appropriate a written patient treatment plan and program.
    • Delegate appropriate portions of the treatment plan and program to the physical therapist assistant consistent with the physical therapist assistant’s education, training and experience.
    • Coordinate discharge plan decisions and the final assessment with the physical therapist assistant.


Provide on−site assessment and reevaluation of each patient’s treatment at a minimum of one time per calendar month or every tenth treatment day, whichever is sooner, and adjust the treatment plan as appropriate.

What type of therapist supervision is required?

General Supervision

“General supervision” means direct, on−premises contact between a supervisor, and a physical therapist, physical therapist assistant, student or temporary licensee being supervised, as necessary. Between direct contacts, a supervisor is required to maintain indirect, off−premises telecommunication contact such that the person being supervised can, within 24 hours, establish direct telecommunication with a supervisor.

What is the ratio between supervising PTs and PTAs?

No physical therapist may at any time supervise more than two (2) physical therapist assistants full−time equivalents practicing under general supervision.


Wis. Stat. 448.56

Wis. Admin. Code Trans.  PT 5.01

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