Joined: January 16, 2005
From: St. Petersburg, FL
Can I ask the group what is considered appropriate PT to PTA ratios, (OT to COTA as well). Basically, in a clinic how many PTs should there be on staff for each PTA?
And if PT and PTA are providing treatment to a patient on subsequent visits for the entire episode of care, after how many visits should the PT see the patient for every visit the PTA treats the patient?
Nicole, I do not know if you are asking about the Standards of practice or the State laws about this, or just opinions and experiences. I am 100% with proud. Having run big and small clinics, I have had the opportunity to explore the use of PTAs; in any of the clinics, they were NOT used (hired) after our test periods. Did NOT enhance the quality of care, added stress and paperwork to the treatment, added another personality into the mix, and it was found handy only in very few cases. These were clinics where US, SWD, IR, etc etc were NOT commonly used.
Just so the PTAs here know: I have nothing against them and their training - like I have nothing against chauffeurs. I just like to drive myself.
Joined: March 15, 2006
In Minnesota, a PT can supervise only 2 PTAs. for the record, I only have one PTA in our department and I find it helpful to have her work with the more repetitive SNF and IP patients, allowing me to do more evaluating and treating of the patients with a more definite beginning and end to their care.
Joined: August 25, 2000
IN NY, I found this info from the office of professions website;
"In general one physical therapist may supervise no more than four physical therapist assistants. In a home care services setting, a physical therapist may supervise no more than two physical therapist assistants."
Joined: May 11, 2004
If you'd like evidence to assist with your question, you can see a post at EIM here: http://blog.myphysicaltherapyspace.com/2008/09/do-physical-the.html There were a lot of comments generated at that time, but the EIM guys changed the format of discussion from the Typepad thing to Disqus to now Intense Debate. As the comment platforms have been changed, the comments have been lost. :(
Joined: May 11, 2004
Bill, the data for the research came from FOTO and outcomes using FOTO. (So, we're talking thousands of records.) The slippery slope in the data was the guesstimate of how frequently the PTA was utilized. Poorer outcomes occur when a PTA is utilized in 50% or greater of the episode of care. The only time that the outcome wasn't as bad was in states that had PT/PTA ratio mentioned in state licensing regulations for physical therapists.