Virginia

United States Physical Therapy Practice Acts

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Temporary License Requirements/Availability

An unlicensed physical therapist can be employed as a trainee under direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist until results of the national exam are received, following approval from the president of the board.  The traineeship will only last until 2 days after the trainee receives the results from the national board exam.  The trainee is eligible to apply for an additional traineship while waiting to take the next examination.  However, they will not be approved for a second trainseeship until at least one year after receiving results of the first examination. [1]

Requirements for License 

A physical therapist can receive licensure in the state of Virginia by examination or endorsement.  Education requirements include gradution from an accredited program.  If the applicant graduated from a program not approved by an accrediting agency, additional paper work must be submitted.  For applicants seeking initial licensure by examination, they must submit document of educational requirements; the required application, fees and creditinals to the board and documentation of passage of the exam. [1]

Supervision

A physical therapist is held accountable for the actions of all those performing physical therapy tasks under the physical therapist's supervision or direction.  The support personnel can only perform tasks that are"nondiscretionary and do not require the exercise of professional judgement".  A physical therapy can only directly supervise three individual trainees at any given time.  Additionally, a physical therapist can directly supervise a student in an approved program who is fulfilling clinical educational requirements. Students in an approved phyiscal therapy assistant program shall receive direct supervision form a physical therapist or physical therapist asssistant. [1]

Physical Therapy Students


Continued Competence

"In order to renew an active license biennially, a physical therapist or a physical therapist assistant shall complete at least 30 contact hours of continuing learning activities within the two years immediately preceding renewal. In choosing continuing learning activities or courses, the licensee shall consider the following: (i) the need to promote ethical practice, (ii) an appropriate standard of care, (iii) patient safety, (iv) application of new medical technology, (v) appropriate communication with patients, and (vi) knowledge of the changing health care system." [1]

Does the Act appear restrictive? Why/Why not?

"A. An applicant for certification to provide services to patients without a referral as specified in § 54.1-3482.1 of the Code of Virginia shall hold an active, unrestricted license as a physical therapist in Virginia and shall submit evidence satisfactory to the board that he has one of the following qualifications:

1. Completion of a doctor of physical therapy program approved by the American Physical Therapy Association;

2. Completion of a transitional program in physical therapy as recognized by the board; or
3. At least three years of postlicensure, active practice with evidence of 15 contact hours of continuing education in medical screening or differential diagnosis, including passage of a postcourse examination. The required continuing education shall be offered by a provider or sponsor listed as approved by the board in 18VAC112-20-131 and may be face-to-face or online education courses."

"A physical therapist providing services with a direct access certification as specified in § 54.1-3482 of the Code of Virginia shall utilize the Direct Access Patient Attestation and Medical Release Form prescribed by the board or otherwise include in the patient record the information, attestation and written consent required by subsection B of § 54.1-3482 of the Code of Virginia." [1]

Is there anything unusual about this act?

"Physical therapists holding certification to provide direct access without a referral shall include four contact hours as part of the required 30 contact hours of continuing education in courses related to clinical practice in a direct access setting." [1]

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 1.5 Virginia Board of Physical Therapy. Board of Physical Therapy Law and Regulations. http://www.dhp.virginia.gov/physicaltherapy/physther_laws_regs.htm#reg (accessed 17 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.