Arkansas

United States Physical Therapy Practice Acts

Original Editor - Your name will be added here if you created the original content for this page.

Top Contributors - Marti Bradbury, Elaine Lonnemann and Kim Jackson  



Temporary License Requirements/Availability [1]

The Arkansas State Board of Physical Therapy does not issue temporary temporary licenses.  Individuals may be exempt from the requirements of a license when participating in specified activities.  The exemptions include:

  • A person in an entry-level professional education program approved by the board who satisfying supervised clinical education requirements realted to the person's physical therapist education and is under onsite supervision of a licensed physical therapist.
  • A physical therapist who is practicing in the United States armed services, United States Public Health Service, or Veterans Adminstration under federal regulations for state licensure of health care professionals.
  • A physical therapist who is licesned in another jurisdiction of the United States or credentialed to practice physical therapy in another country if the physical therapist is teaching, demonstrating, or providing physical therapy services in connection with teaching or participating in an educational seminsr of no more than 60 days per year.
  • A physical therapist who is lisenced in another jurisdiction of the United States if the physical therapist is providing consultation by means of telecommunication to a physical therapist licensed by the Arkansas State Board of Physical Therapy.
  • A physical therapist who is licensed in a jorisdiction of the United States or credentialed by another country if the physical therapist is providing physical therapy by contract or employment to inviduals affiliated with an athletic team, athletic organization, or performing arts complany that is temporarily practicing, competing, or perfoming the state for no more than 60 days per year.
  • A physical therapist who is licensed in a jurisdiction of the United States and who enters the state to provide physical therapy during a declared local, state, or national disaster or emergency. The individual must notify the board of his/her intent to practice in the state. This exemption is only applicable for 60 days following the declaration of the disaster or emergency.
  • A physical therapist licensed in a jurisdiction of the United States who seeks to practice physical therapy in the state because he/she is forced to leave his/her residence or place of employment due to a declared local, state, or national disaster or emergency. The individual must notify the board of his/her intent to practice physical therapy in the state and may only practice for 60 days following the delecration of the disaster or emergency.

Requirements for License [1]

The Arkansas State Board of Physical Therapy will issue a license to applicants who meet the following requirements:

  • Are at least 21 years of age
  • Are of good moral character
  • Have graduated from a school of physical therapy accredited by a national accredidation agency approved by the board
  • Have passed examinations selected and approved by the board
  • Submitted fees as determined by the board

Applicants who fail the examination on the initial attempt do not have to reapply for licensure if the exam is taken a second time and passing scores are acheived within 6 months of the initial attempt.  If the exam is passed on the second attempt, the applicant must complete additional clinical training or coursework as determined by the board before reapplying for licensure.  After a license has been issued, an annual renewal fee must paid or the license will be revoked.

The Arkansas State Board of Physical Therapy will also issue a license to individuals who have a current unrestricted license from another jurisdiction of the United States if the individual has met all the qualifications for a license under this chapter at the time of the applicant's initial licensure.

Supervision

The Akansas practice states that supervision "means that the supervising physical therapist retains moral, ethical, and legal responsibility for patient care and is readily available for consultation."[1]

Physical Therapists Assistants may only practice under a supervising therapist.  The supervising therapist "is not required to be onsite but must be at least available by telecommunication."[1]  The physical therapist assistant must be in direct consultation with the supervising therapist to complete the following tasks:[2]

  • Recommend changes in the treatment, plan of care, or goals
  • Within the plan of care, recommend appropriate equipment, assitive devices, or modification of architectural barriers
  • Within the plan of care, perform appropriate examination procedures

Physical Therapy Aides may only perform tasks under direct on-site supervision from a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant.  The physical therapist will retain moral, ethical, and legal responsibilities for the care that is provided by the physical therapy aide.  The physical therapy aide must recieve training from the physical therapist and/or physical therapist assistant prior to performing any treatment.  The treatments that may be performed by the physical therapy aide is determined by the supervising physical therapist.[2]

Physical Therapy Students

Physical Therapy students may practice in the state of Arkansas if the student is enrolled in an entry level program approved by the board.  Students must be under onset supervision of a licensed physical therapist.[1]

Continued Competence

Physical therapists must complete continuing education requirements for licensure renewal.  The Akansas Physical Therapy Board must approve all continuing education programs and their content.  The board may require payment of a fee approval of continuing education programs.[1]  Continuing education requirements are as follows:[2]

  • Every two years, the physical therapist must complete 2 CEUs*
  • No more than 50% of continuing education may be taken online
  • College or univeristy courses in the area of clinical application, clinical management, behavioral science, science, or scientific research may be accepted and will be equal to one CEU for each completed credit hour (grade C or higher)
  • An article or research that has been publuished may be presented to the board for 1 CEU, the article or research must be approved by the board and the publication must be presented to the board office 
  • One CEU is defined as 10 contact hours of an accredited course or program.  Program content must be of clinical application, clinical management, behavioral science, or science.[2]

Does the Act appear restrictive? Why/Why not?

The Arkansas Physical Therapy act does appear restrictive.  The practice act clearly defines the duties of the physical therapist and limits what falls into the scope of physical therapy to the skills and techniques specifically listed in the practice act.  The wording of the practice act makes it unlawful for a physical therapist perform techinques that are not stated in the practice act.  The Arkansas practice act also states techniques that may not be performed by the physical therapist.

Is there anything unusual about this act?

The act clearly states that physical therapy does not include radiology or electrosurgery.  However, the act does not go into anymore detail about other health-related techiniques or procedures that do not fall within the scope of practice of a physical therapist.

Recent Related Research (from Pubmed)

Extension:RSS -- Error: Not a valid URL: Feed goes here!!

References

<references />

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Arkansas Physical Therapy Act. http://www.arptb.org/pdf/Practice_Act_1109.pdf (accessed 20 April 2012).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Arkansas State Board of Physical Therpay Rules and Regulations http://www.arptb.org/pdf/rules_regs.pdf (accessed 20 April 2012).

Disclaimer:   Informational Content is assimilated from the state practice act is a resource only and should not be considered a  substitute for the content within the state practice act.  All state practice acts can change and it is recommended that you refer to the original resource in the link above.