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Wisconsin Physical Therapy Definitions 

The Wisconsin physical therapy legal and regulatory definitions.  

“Board”- The Wisconsin Physical Therapy Examining Board.

“Client”- A person who has contracted for, who receives, and or who has previously received or contracted for, the professional services of a physical therapist, a physical therapist assistant, student or temporary licensee, whether the physical therapist, student or temporary licensee is paid or unpaid for the service, and regardless of where such services occur. If a client is a person under age 18, the client’s parent or legal guardian are also clients.

“Compact” - The physical therapy licensure compact.

“Compact Privilege” - A compact privilege, that is granted under the compact to an individual to practice in this state.

“Contact Hour” - Not less than fifty (50) minutes a licensee spends in actual attendance at or completion of acceptable continuing education.

“Continuing Education”- Planned, organized learning activities designed to maintain, improve, or expand a licensee’s knowledge and skills relevant to the enhancement of practice, education, or theory development to improve the safety and welfare of the public.

“Diagnosis” - A judgment that is made after examining the neuromusculoskeletal system or evaluating or studying its symptoms and that utilizes the techniques and science of physical therapy for the purpose of establishing a plan of therapeutic intervention but does not include a chiropractic or medical diagnosis.

“Direct, Immediate, On-Premises Supervision” – Face-to-face contact between the supervisor and the person being supervised, as necessary, with the supervisor physically present in the same building when the service is performed by the person being supervised.

“Direct, Immediate, One-to-One Supervision” – One-to-one supervision with face−to−face contact between the person being supervised and the supervisor. The supervisor may assist the person being supervised as necessary.

“Examining Board” - The Wisconsin Physical Therapy Examining Board.

“FSBPT”- The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.

“General Supervision”- 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.

“Informed Consent”- A client’s voluntary, knowing and understood agreement to the service to be provided by the physical therapist, physical therapist assistant, temporary licensee, candidate for reentry, or student. Informed consent requires, at a minimum, that the licensee has provided information about reasonable alternate modes of diagnosis and treatment, and the risks and benefits of each, that a reasonable person in the client’s position would need before making an informed decision concerning the mode of treatment or diagnosis.

“Licensee” - A person who is licensed in Wisconsin.

“Negligence in the Practice of Physical Therapy” - An act performed without the care and skill of a reasonable physical therapist or physical therapist assistant who performs the act in question, whether or not the negligent care results in actual harm to the patient.

“Physical Therapist” - An individual who has been graduated from a school of physical therapy and holds a license to practice physical therapy granted by the examining board or who holds a physical therapist compact privilege.

“Physical Therapist Assistant” - An individual who holds a license as a physical therapist assistant granted by the examining board or who holds a physical therapist assistant compact privilege.

“Physical Therapy” – Includes the following:

    • Examining, evaluating, or testing individuals with mechanical, physiological, or developmental impairments, functional limitations related to physical movement and mobility, disabilities, or other movement-related health conditions, in order to determine a diagnosis, prognosis, or plan of therapeutic intervention or to assess the ongoing effects of intervention. In this subdivision, “testing" means using standardized methods or techniques for gathering data about a patient.
    • Alleviating impairments or functional limitations by instructing patients or designing, implementing, or modifying therapeutic interventions.
    • Reducing the risk of injury, impairment, functional limitation, or disability, including by promoting or maintaining fitness, health, or quality of life in all age populations.
    • Engaging in administration, consultation, or research that is related to any activity specified above.

“Physical Therapist Assistant Student” - A person enrolled in a physical therapist assistant educational program approved by the board who performs physical therapy procedures and related tasks consistent with the person’s education, training, and experience under the direct, immediate, on−premises supervision of a physical therapist or under the supervision of a physical therapist assistant.

“Physical Therapist Student”- A person enrolled in a physical therapist educational program approved by the board who performs physical therapy procedures and related tasks consistent with the person’s education, training, and experience under the direct, immediate, on−premises supervision of a physical therapist.

“Sexual Misconduct with a Patient” – Includes thhe following:

    • Engaging in or soliciting a consensual or nonconsensual sexual relationship with a patient.
    • Making sexual advances toward, requesting sexual favors from, or engaging in other verbal conduct or physical contact of a sexual nature with a patient.
    • Intentionally viewing a completely or partially disrobed patient during the course of treatment if the viewing is not related to diagnosis or treatment.

“Supervisor”- A person holding a regular license as a physical therapist or a physical therapist compact privilege granted by the board who is competent to coordinate, direct, and inspect the accomplishments of another physical therapist, physical therapist assistant, student, or temporary licensee.

“Temporary Licensee”- A graduate of a physical therapy school or program who has met the requirements for and who has been granted a temporary license to practice as a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant.

“Therapeutic Intervention” - The purposeful and skilled interaction between a physical therapist, patient, and, if appropriate, individuals involved in the patient's care, using physical therapy procedures or techniques that are intended to produce changes in the patient's condition and that are consistent with diagnosis and prognosis.

“Unlicensed Personnel”- A person other than a physical therapist, physical therapist assistant, or student who performs patient related tasks consistent with the person’s education, training and experience under the direct, immediate, on−premises supervision of a physical therapist.

Reference

Wis. Stat. § 448.50

Wis. Admin. Code PT 1.0

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