Temporary License Requirements/Availability
Under Rhode Island’s Practice Act, graduate students may receive provisional licensure. In order for students to be eligible to apply, they must have graduated from a CAPTE-accredited program and have submitted the appropriate documentation and application to the Board.
Once approved, students will practice under the supervision of a Rhode Island licensed physical therapist. Documentation completed by the student needs to be signed as G.P.T (Graduate Physiotherapist). If their temporary license will be automatically revoked The applicant fails to take the licensure examination within 90 days of the graduation date, or fails the examination.
Requirements for License
In order to be considered for licensure in Rhode Island, applicants must submit a written form to the Board verifying that the following criteria are met:
a) Be at least eighteen (18) years of age; b) Be of good character; c) Graduate of a physical therapy education program accredited by the Council for Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) or other accrediting body approved by departmental consultation Boardd) has passed the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) of the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) or other physical therapy certification examination approved by the Department in consultation with the Board to determine the applicant’s suitability to practice in the practice of physical therapy.
Applicants do not need to take NPTE to be fully licensed to practice in Rhode Island. Applicants will be granted a license if the Commission considers that they have adequately met the requirements set forth by the state. Applications must be submitted 30 days prior to the meeting Complete all license forms and fees with the board. Additionally, supporting documentation may be required.
All initial check-up treatment protocols and discharge will be followed and completed by the physical therapist only and not by the physical therapist assistant or other support staff. When a physical therapist assistant is treating a patient, the physical therapist must pass Telecommunications at any time. All initial check-up treatment protocols and discharge will be followed and completed by a Physiotherapist
Physiotherapy students supervising physical therapists must also have students immediately accessible to them when they are in contact with patients.
A physical therapist or physical therapist assistant must be on the same premises when a physical therapist assistant student or other support staff is treating a patient.
Physiotherapists are required to maintain the following documentation regarding the supervision of Physiotherapist Assistants: a) Required Instructions
b) On-site supervision of the performance of the Physiotherapist Assistant
c) Review of physical therapist assistant’s files
d) a reassessment
e) Update the patient’s plans and goals as appropriate.
These components of the written documentation need to be completed when a patient reassessment is required or at least monthly.
With regard to requirements for document oversight by support personnel, the following need to be maintained:  a) The necessary instruction and documented competence
b) Line of sight supervision of treatment
c) Review support staff files on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Students
The Act allows students to retake NPTE 3 times without further approval. In order for a student to be eligible to retake the exam after 3 failed attempts, the individual must request a formal meeting with the Board Decisions on additional coursework and/or training will be made Before future recheck attempts .
Rhode Island offers provisional licensure, application requirements are listed in the section above titled “Provisional License Requirements/Availability”.
The Act states that a physical therapist and physical therapist assistant are responsible for his/her individual professional development and continuing physical therapy competency.  The number of hours required is not listed in the bill, but according to the Federation of State Boards The Master of Science in Physical Therapy (FSBPT) Rhode Island requires 20-29 hours of continuing education to become licensed.
Is the Act restrictive? Why/why not?
The Practice Act does not prohibit direct visits, but imposes restrictions on physiotherapists who treat patients through direct visits. The Act requires the following:
- obtain informed consent
- Refer the patient to a medical osteopath, dental podiatry, or chiropractic physician within ninety (90) days of the initial evaluation, but no such referral is required by a physical therapist after treatment has concluded.
The bill also prohibits physical therapists with less than a year of experience from treating patients without a referral from a physician in medical osteopathy, dental podiatry or chiropractic.
Is there anything unusual about this movement?
The section of the bill that discusses licensing requirements contains two unusual components. In the list of requirements, it states that applicants must be of good moral character and be at least 18 years old. Unusual aspects requiring applicants to be of good moral character Characterized by the country’s ability to measure such entities. A statement requiring an individual to be over 18 does not seem necessary.
References will automatically be added here, see adding references tutorial.
- Rhode Island Rules and Regulations For Licensing Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants. http://sos.ri.gov/dar_filing/regdocs/released/pdf/DOH/4833.pdf (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.