PhysicalTherapy.com Phone: 866-782-6258


Alabama Jurisprudence

Alabama Jurisprudence
Calista Kelly, PT, DPT, ACEEAA, Cert. MDT
August 11, 2020

To earn CEUs for this article, become a member.

unlimited ceu access $99/year

Join Now
Share:

Introduction

It is important to note that laws and rules, as well as standards and policies, can change at any time. It is the licensee’s responsibility to stay abreast of changes, and the best way to do that is through the Alabama Board of Physical Therapy as well as through the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

In Alabama, physical therapists are able to practice based upon the Physical Therapy Practice Act, which is a statute, or a formal written enactment by a legislative body declaring, commanding, or prohibiting something. Read the Practice Act in its entirety and become familiar with it; this course today will only be an overview and will touch on a few key highlights.

Statutes

A statute is the written will of the legislative body to solemnly express according to the forms necessary to constitute the law of the state. The primary role of the courts is to carry out the intent of the legislature.  In our case, legislative acts declare what the practice of physical therapy is – that is, what actions physical therapists can perform, and what actions are prohibited.

Alabama Physical Therapy Practice Act

The Alabama Physical Therapy Practice Act is contained in Section 34-24.  This chapter shall be known as the Alabama Physical Therapy Practice Act.

The Alabama Physical Therapy Practice Act is available at www.pt.al.gov . The direct link is Alabama Physical Therapy Practice Act. 

As noted, the board may adopt new rules or amend existing ones between complete editions, and if so, will list those on its website also.

The legislative purpose and intent of the Practice Act is to protect the public health and safety and welfare and to provide the state administrative control and supervision over the practice of physical therapy.

Division 1 General Provisions of the Alabama Physical Therapy Practice Act

Definitions 34-24-191

Definitions give us a common framework from which to begin a discussion on a particular topic or issue.  Please review the definitions below for understanding throughout the rest of the course

·   Board-The Board of Physical Therapy in Alabama.  It was established by Section 34-34-192.

·   Foreign Educated Physical Therapist-An individual trained or educated in physical therapy practice outside of the USA or any of its territories. 

·   Impaired- A physical therapy licensee who is unable to practice physical therapy with reasonable skill and safety due to reasons of illness, inebriation, excessive use of drugs, narcotics, alcohol, chemicals, or other substances, or as a result of any physical or mental condition

·   Physical Therapy- The treatment of a human being by the use of exercise, massage, heat, cold water, radiant energy, electricity, or sound for the purpose of correcting or alleviating any physical or mental condition or preventing the development of any physical or mental disability, or the performance of neuromuscular-skeletal tests and measurements to determine the existence and extent of body malfunction.  Physical Therapy is to be practiced only upon referral by a physician licensed to practice medicine or surgery, a licensed dentist, licensed chiropractor, licensed physician assistant or registered nurse practitioner both to whom need a supervisory/collaborative practice agreement with a licensed physician.  Radiology and electrosurgery is not included under physical therapy. 

·   Physical Therapist-Person who practices physical therapy

·   Physical Therapist Licensee- A physical therapist or physical therapist assistant who is licensed under this practice act

·   Physiotherapist-Same as the term “physical therapist” and is used to identify only those persons licensed under this act.  The physical therapist may use the letters P.T. or R.P.T with his or her name or place of business.

·   Physical Therapist Assistant- A individual who assists the physical therapist and whose treatments require an understanding of physical therapy but do not require professional or advanced training in the anatomical, biological, and physical sciences involved in the practice of physical therapy. The physical therapist assistant practices only under the direction of a licensed physical therapist

·   Physical Therapy Aide-An individual who is trained under the direction of a physical therapist and performs only designated and supervised routine tasks related to physical therapy

·   Restricted License

o   For a physical therapist, a restriction or condition (or both) that the board has placed on a licensee regarding the scope, supervision or place of practice, duration of licensed status, type or condition of patients that the therapist is allowed to provide services. 

o   For a physical therapist assistant, it is any restriction placed on the licensee by the board

Board of Physical Therapy, 34-24-192 Generally

Composition of members

·   Board consists of seven members with four physical therapist members, two physical therapist assistants and one consumer member. 

·   Members are appointed by the Governor from a list of five who were nominated by current licensees and certified by the board. 

·   The four physical therapist members are nominated from congressional districts and the physical therapist assistant members are to be nominated from the northern and southern areas of the state.  A congressional district shall not be represented by two physical therapists when possible.  The complete procedure for nominations is stated further in the practice act. 

·   The board membership is to be inclusive and reflect the racial, gender, geographic, urban/rural, and economic diversity of the state. 

·   Terms are staggered so that one board member expires each year.  Terms are five years and an individual cannot be appointed for more than two consecutive terms. 

Qualification of members

Physical Therapist and physical therapist assistant board members need to have the following qualifications:

·   Resident and citizen of the state of Alabama

·   Practiced physical therapy as a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant in the state of Alabama for three years prior to appointment

·   No disciplinary action against his or her license for three years prior to appointment to the board. 

Vacancies

If there is a vacancy within a year of the annual meeting of the original selection, the governor will choose another name from the list.  A vacancy occurring prior to the next annual meeting after the initial appointment is filled by the Governor from a list of five names submitted by the current licensees of the board. 

Officers

The board selects members in specific roles so that one as chair, one as secretary, and one as treasurer.  All members of the board will receive a fee set by the board for each day performing their duties and will be reimbursed according to the state travel policy for other expenses.   

Powers and Duties of the Board, Certification Fee, Administrative Fines and Impaired Practitioner Program, 34-24-193

·   The board may pass upon the qualifications of applicants for licensing as physical therapists and physical therapists assistants, conduct examinations, issue licenses, and renewals to qualified physical therapists and physical therapist assistants under the practice act. 

·   May revoke or suspend licenses

·   For the performance of the board’s duties, the board can adopt rules and regulations not inconsistent with law as the board deems necessary.  

·   Board will maintain a list of every physical therapist and physical therapist assistant licensed in Alabama including the last place of business, personal home address, date, and the number of the license. 

·   That list of licenses is available after application to the board and payment set by the board. 

·   Board may hire personnel as needed to administer the provisions of the practice act

·   Board hires and establishes the responsibilities and salary of the executive director.

·   Board may set and receive a fee certifying a licensee is in good standing with the Alabama board

·   Board may collect a fee continuing education providers

·   Board may discipline licensees by collecting fines (not more than $1000 per each violation) and may progress to legal proceedings to obtain compliance.

 

...

To earn CEUs for this article, become a member.

unlimited ceu access $99/year

Join Now

calista kelly

Calista Kelly, PT, DPT, ACEEAA, Cert. MDT

Managing Editor, PhysicalTherapy.com

Calista holds a master’s degree in physical therapy from St. Ambrose University and a doctorate degree (DPT) from the University of Mississippi. She attained a credentialing certificate from the McKenzie Institute in 2011 and the CEEAA credential in 2014 from the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy of the American Physical Therapy Association. In 2019, she completed the requirements for the Advanced Credentialed Exercise Expert for Aging Adults (ACEEAA) through the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy.  Calista has been licensed as a physical therapist since 2001 and has worked as a clinician in a variety of settings including ICU, outpatient orthopedics/sports medicine, neuro, SNF/LTC, LTACH, wound care, home health and pediatrics.



Related Courses

Tennessee Jurisprudence
Presented by Calista Kelly, PT, DPT, ACEEAA, Cert. MDT
Text/Transcript
Course: #3842Level: Introductory2 Hours
Tennessee physical therapists and physical therapy assistants are required to participate in a two hour course on the laws that affect the practice of physical therapy in Tennessee. This course reviews various legal authorities which impact the practice of physical therapy in Tennessee.

Tennessee Ethics in Physical Therapy: Bioethics and Our Code of Ethics
Presented by Brigette Cuffia, PT, JD
Text/Transcript
Course: #3611Level: Intermediate3 Hours
This course is specifically designed for PTs and PTAs licensed in the state of Tennessee. Physical therapists make ethical decisions on a daily basis. In routine clinical practice PTs and PTAs are also faced with tough situations known as ethical dilemmas. Understanding bioethics and the APTA Code of Ethics can help therapists make decisions regarding ethical issues in an informed way. Models of ethical decision making will be presented and clinical examples analyzed. Upon taking this course therapists will more readily recognize the ethical makeup of their clinical practice and feel more confident in their ethical decision making. This course is directly related to the practice of physical therapy and is appropriate for the PT and PTA.

Legal Practice (Jurisprudence) in Indiana
Presented by Brigette Cuffia, PT, JD
Recorded Webinar
Course: #3432Level: Intermediate1 Hour
This one-hour course will cover the jurisprudence portion of the two hour Indiana jurisprudence and ethics requirement.

Legal and Ethical Practice in Hawaii
Presented by Brigette Cuffia, PT, JD
Recorded Webinar
Course: #3447Level: Introductory2 Hours
This is a two hour course that covers the Hawaii State Practice Act, other important rules, and regulations as well as bioethics and the APTA code of Ethics. This course is specifically for Physical Therapists licensed in Hawaii and is a review of the minimum subjects as stated in the Hawaii Board of Physical Therapy's Ethics, Laws and Rules (Jurisprudence) content outline.

Wisconsin Jurisprudence
Presented by Brigette Cuffia, PT, JD
Recorded Webinar
Course: #3718Level: Introductory1 Hour
Wisconsin physical therapists and physical therapist assistants are required to take a course on the laws that affect the practice of physical therapy in Wisconsin. This course reviews various legal authorities which impact the practice of physical therapy in Wisconsin.