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.