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PTA Blog Talk

2000 Hours

Published August 4, 2010 2:36 PM by Jason Marketti

I graduated from the College of Southern Nevada in 1996 with an AAS degree as a PTA. I recently contacted the Nevada State Board of PT Examiners about the 2000 hours that is in place for PTAs after graduation. Either I was not aware of this rule or I was so giddy about practicing that I forgot about it when I began my first job at a local hospital. What the state board said was "The 2000 hours is required before the PTA can work without onsite supervision, but supervision is still required after the 2000 hours has been met."

Apparently, PTAs were initially only able to work with onsite supervision and it was decided we should be allowed to work without onsite supervision. But someone felt it necessary to ensure we had enough experience to work in the setting so the 2000-hour rule was established.

I have a slight problem with this. As a student, I went to school (which was taught by PTs), performed well in my clinicals, with the grace of God passed all my classes, took a competency exam for state licensure, received my license to practice as a PTA, but still was not able to perform therapy without a PT onsite for one full year.

I am sure other states have similar rules and regulations about PTAs that limit their ability to practice as a new grad, and I often wonder if there is an impact on patient care. Probably not if an aide is treating the patients.

7 comments

Need good study review books that i will buy to pass the NPTA in FL. contact me at mbonilla5043@yahoo.com thanks! Interested in formming a group study in orlando area. p[lease email me.

Manuel Bonilla, Rehabilitation - pta, n/a May 28, 2011 11:59 AM
orlando FL

I am licensed in NY however I have moved over 4 yrs ago to Florida. I just took my National PTA Exam and failed. I am very frustrated. Being out of school for over 10 yrs I used the Giles Review and purchased the PEAT. Unfortunately I still did not pass. Does anyone suggest a good review for PTA's for the NPTAE? I need serious help, I could of sworn I passed that test with flying colors and to my surprise, I did not. Thanks for any suggestions you may have.

Karlene, Physical Therapy - PTA October 7, 2010 11:19 AM
Harmony FL

Yes, this is correct. A PTA must have 2,000 hours of experience before they are able to practice without on-site supervision. I had a glitch with this rule, as well. I relocated from Florida which did not have this rule. However, I had to have a PT in Florida sign off on my 2,000 hours of experience before I could practice without on-site supervision in Nevada. Next glitch, I was working at a Kindred facility. A new grad was working at another location. Unfortunately, the PT supervisor of the new grad resigned (without notice). The company had to move me to the other facility and move the new grad to a facility with on-site supervision. Although I am allowed to practice without on-site supervision, I have to maintain a "supervising therapist" form with The Board. I graduated from St. Petersburg College in 2007. Our Program Director's mantra is "know your practice act". In Florida, in addition to the national exam we are required to take a Florida Rules & Regulations exam.

On a separate (but similar) note, The Board met on July 20 to adopt changes to the state practice act. You can check the Nevada State Board of Physical Therapy Examiners for further details.

Laura Cerame, LTAC - PTA, PeopleFirst Rehab/Kindred August 8, 2010 1:11 PM
Las Vegas NV

You are correct.

According to the NV practice act if the PT is not on site with a new grad PTA the PTA would not be able to treat (They figured 2000 hours was one year as a FTE). Apparently this has been on the books for 20 years according to the state board.  Whether it is followed or not is another matter.  I was not able to locate any restrictions on a PT new grad in NV.  

Three months after graduation I moved to a less restrictive state and was able to do home health, school district, etc with the PT only a phone call away.

Jason Marketti August 5, 2010 10:53 PM

Just curious if I'm reading your quote correctly.  A PTA must have a PT onsite for supervision for the first 2000 hours after receiving their PTA license.  After that requirement is met, the PTA must still be supervised by a PT, but the PT does not have to be onsite.  So for the first 2000 hours the PTA in Nevada could not do home health.  That PTA could also not work in a nursing home if a PT was not at that nursing home.  Say if a nursing home had one PT and two PTAs...if the PT called in sick, the PTAs could not do patient care that day.  Is that correct?

Sometimes there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for why a law exists.  Sometimes a law has been in existence so long that it just is...since noone has challenged it, everyone simply accepts it to be the way it has always been.  (In this case, I can't fathom a reason for this requirement, but people surprise me all the time!)

Did you ask the person to explain the rationale behind the requirement?  If he/she can't explain, you can keep asking for names until you find someone with the answer.  If you can't get an answer to that question, you may have the foundation for challenging it.

Janey Goude August 4, 2010 11:13 PM
Lexington

Well homehealth is the only setting I can think of that has a restrictbion, but nothing like what your are dealing with. I would be kinda aggravated with a 2000hr rule, do the new grad PTs have the same rule put on them, probably not.

Bobbie Abbott August 4, 2010 9:22 PM
Ocala FL

Jason,

Having practiced in Nevada I can understand how you feel. However, I was an experience PTA when I applied for a license so this was not an issue for me. Nevada is different from other states in many ways. For example, there was a law that said that a PT had to personally introduce a PTA before they could treat them. Apparently, that wasn't happening very often and the state board eventually changed that in the physical therapy practice act.

All states are different with regards to the PTA practice. Congratulations on getting through the program. I guess one could say that now your real education will begins.

Bob

Bob Sheridan, PTA August 4, 2010 11:55 AM
Seattle WA

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    Jason J. Marketti
    Occupation: Physical Therapist Assistant
    Setting: San Jacinto, CA
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