Texas

United States Physical Therapy Practice Acts

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Temporary License Requirements/Availability

The state of Texas allows the use of a temporary license under the following circumstances:

  • Must meet all of the general licensing requirements listed in the licensure section.
  • Must be registered to take the national physical therapy examination.
  • Submit a notarized temporary supervision affidavits as provided by the board.
  • Submit appropriate fees for temporary licensure.


Temporary licenses may only be issued to an applicant who is taking the national board exam fo the first time. Applicants who have failed at least one examination attempt or have been licensed in a different state are not eligible for temporary licensure.

Once obtained, temporary licenses are only in effect for 3 months or until the applicant receives the results of their first examination attempt.

An applicant who is practicing with a temporary license must have on-site supervision by a licensed physical therapist.[1]

Requirements for License

The following requirements must be met by any applicant who wishes to be licensed in the state of Texas:

  • A completed, notarized application form must be submitted with a recent color photograph of the applicant.
  • Must pay the non-refundable application fee.
  • Must submit a successfully completed board jurisprudence exam on the Texas Physical Therapy Practice act and board rules.
  • Must provide documentation of academic qualifications.


Once the application process is complete the applicant may take the physical therapy examination. 

Any applicant who fails the exam more than once must partake in additional education courses before attmepting the exam again. The extent of the additional education is dependent upon the actual number of failed attempts and the scores acheived duing those tests.

Applicants who fail the PT exam may immediately apply to take the PTA exam.

Some physical therapists may be exempt from licensure in Texas, including; PTs practicing under the US government, contract PTs who will be practicing in the state for no more than 60 days per calendar year.[1]

Supervision

In Texas, it is the responsibility of the PT to determine the number of PTAs and/or aides he or she can safely supervise.

The following stipulations must be met in the supervision of a PTA in the state of Texas:

  • Supervising PT will participate in the patient's care
  • Supervising PT must be on call and readily available when services are being provided by the PTA
  • Responsibilites assigned to the PTA must be within their scope of practice
  • Supervising PT must hold documentatin conferences with the PTA regarding the patient being treated.

The following stipulations must be met in the supervision of an aide in the state of Texas:

  • A PT or PTA is responsible for the supervision of all physical therapy services provided by the aide.
  • The supervising PT or PTA must provide on ste supervision of the aide and remain within reasonable proximity during all interactions with the patient[1]

Physical Therapy Students

The practice act for the state of Texas does not outline the supervision or responsibilites of the physical therapy student in the clinical setting.

I assume that the supervision requirements are similar to that of the requirements of the PTA. The practice act does define the role of the PT as follows:

  • (A) Performance and documentation of the initial physical therapy examination and
    evaluation of the patient;
    (B) Interpretation of the practitioner's referral;
    (C) Development and documentation of a plan of care;
    (D) Implementation of, or directing implementation of, the plan of care;
    (E) Delegation of tasks to appropriate personnel;
    (F) Direction and supervision of the PTA and physical therapy aide;
    (G) Completion and accuracy of the patient's physical therapy record;
    (H) Performance and documentation of the reexamination and reevaluation of the patient
    as described in this section; and when necessary, modification of the plan of care;
    (I) Discharge of a patient or discontinuation of treatment;
    (J) Development of any follow-up plan for the patient; and
    (K) Collaboration with members of the health care team when appropriate.[1]

Continued Competence

All continuing education credits must be board approved by the state of Texas.

Physical therapists are required to complete 30 continuing competence units (CCUs) every 2 years.

All licensed PTs must participate in 2 CCUs of board-approved programs in ethics and professional responsibility within every 2 year renewal period..

The executive council may conduct audits of random samples of licensees in order to ensure compliance. Disciplinary action may be taken if the licensee is unable to provide official documentation of the CCUs within 30 days of the audit request. It is the responsibility of the PT to present original document, certificates, transcripts. They are also responsible for retaining these documents for 4 years past the date of completion.[1]

Does the Act appear restrictive? Why/Why not?

This act does not appear to be restrictive. In fact, it appears to be very open to the judgement of each practicing therapist in regards to clinical responsibilities and duties.

Is there anything unusual about this act?

I thought it was unusual for the board to allow the judgement of the therapist to dictate the supervision of PTAs/aides. Another section that seemed different involved the use of the term "doctor". These acts provide guidelines for the appropriate use of the term "doctor" in marketing, advertising, and signing of documentation.

Lastly, Texas is seems very strict in the way they handle failed attempts of taking the boards. Failing the exam more than one time automatically requires the applicant to participate in additional education. 

Recent Related Research (from Pubmed)

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References

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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Physical Therapy Rules April 2011, Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners. http://www.ecptote.state.tx.us/images/pdfs/pt/PTrules2011_04.pdf (accessed on April 23, 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.