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PTA Blog Talk

Conditions for Licensing

Published February 20, 2013 4:40 PM by Jason Marketti

Once again, I was searching the state board websites and came across some applications that asked whether the prospective licensee had a disease or condition that interfered with the ability to perform the essential functions of the profession. If so, the PT or PTA was expected to give supporting documentation about this condition. I guess this information is not privacy-protected between an MD and a patient anymore.

The problem with this is there are some medical diagnoses that therapists will receive after they are licensed in a state that can and will affect how they perform in their profession. I guess the state boards do not care about that, they only want to know about it before they give you a license. Technically, a therapist with a head injury could still practice with no limits because the state boards do not ask that a license be surrendered after an injury or illness affects decision-making skills.

The other problem with some licensing boards is they ask about a prospective licensee's mental status. Mental illness, whether it's depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, is a chronic illness that can be helped with proper medication management. This is no different than arthritis. Both mental illness and arthritis can interfere with a person's ability to function with ADLs, and within society, both can limit what a person can accomplish in a day.

So why would the state board care about one diagnosis and not another? No state board has ever asked my HIV status or whether I have a communicable disease that I could potentially infect thousands of patients with. And if I was HIV-positive, do you really think I'd tell the state board about it? I guess a state board's idea of public health and safety is to ensure there are no depressed therapists in the profession.

Crohn's disease can potentially interfere with the essential functions of a therapist's treatment but the state board does not ask about that. Why? If I'm lactose-intolerant and I need to suddenly excuse myself from a treatment because of an urge, will I be denied a license? The measles are highly contagious and could cause serious consequences in a community, especially a SNF. But apparently some state board don't care about this either; they want to know if I have seasonal-affective disorder that does not interfere with the functions of my profession.

Once again, I'm on a one-man therapy czar quest to point out the discrepancies in state licensing boards. Do you think any of them listen to me? Well, one licensing board did when they received a complaint about my dissenting views and investigated me for invoking an amendment that came into effect in 1791. I think they forgot about Amendment 1 of the Bill of Rights. No wonder state boards are confused about their own regulations; they forget about the fundamental rights a US citizen has.

3 comments

Thanks for the insight, the issues you are exposing are some of the many that the boards have, as you mentioned in your article "will they listen to you"  ? therefore it's time to start unifying efforts and work to change all these issues.  

Seogo, Pediatrics - Pt, Private March 3, 2013 10:10 AM
Provo UT

Bob,

Thank you for the comment I appreciate it.  E-mail me at ptablogtalk@gmail.com and we can talk about it.  

Jason Marketti February 22, 2013 1:01 AM

Jason,

I am a PTA/COTA up here in Canada and have been and enjoy reading your blog since you started.  I find your blogs hilarious at times, provacative, and certainly insightful.  You bring up some GREAT ideas and concerns.  I am going to be visiting Palm Springs from April 4 - 13 and was wondering if there is a chance that I may shadow you for a day to compare notes on PTA's in Canada vs. the U.S.  Please let me know.

Bob

Bob February 21, 2013 2:05 PM

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About this Blog


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