WSR 06-24-136

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH


(Board of Physical Therapy)

[ Filed December 6, 2006, 10:41 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 04-07-176.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 246-915-120 Applicants from unapproved schools.

Hearing Location(s): Department of Health, Town Center 2, Room 158, 111 Israel Road S.E., Tumwater, WA 98501, on January 16, 2007, at 9:15 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: January 16, 2007.

Submit Written Comments to: Kris Waidely, Department of Health, Board of Physical Therapy, P.O. Box 47867, Olympia, WA 98504-7867, web site http://www3.doh.wa.gov/policyreview/, fax (360) 664-9077, by January 8, 2007.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Kris Waidely by January 5, 2007, TTY (800) 833-6388 or 711.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The proposed rule establishes the minimum education standards to assure consumers that only qualified physical therapists are providing the care authorized under Washington rules. Under this proposed rule, foreign educated applicants who were previously ineligible for licensure may obtain additional course work and then reapply for licensure.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: According to the American Physical Therapy Association, more than 70% of physical therapy practice involves the elderly, children and vulnerable adults. These patients may be unable to communicate or report acts of misconduct, negligence or incompetence. Many therapists attend to these patients in their homes or in long-term care facilities and are minimally supervised or not supervised at all. The proposed rule provides public protection by establishing minimum educational standards.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 18.74.023.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 18.74.023.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Name of Proponent: Department of health, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Kris Waidely, 310 Israel Road S.E., (360) 236-4847.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The agency has not conducted a small business [economic] impact statement (SBEIS). The proposed rule does not impose more than minor costs on businesses in an industry. Per RCW 19.85.030 the agency has not conducted an SBEIS because the proposed rule does not impose more than minor costs on businesses in an industry.

A cost-benefit analysis is required under RCW 34.05.328. A preliminary cost-benefit analysis may be obtained by contacting Kris Waidely, P.O. Box 47867, Olympia, WA 98504-7867, phone (360) 236-4847, fax (360) 664-9077, e-mail kris.waidely@doh.wa.gov.

December 6, 2006

Kris Waidely

Program Manager

OTS-9410.2


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 403B, filed 2/4/94, effective 3/7/94)

WAC 246-915-120   Applicants from unapproved schools.   ((Applicants who have not graduated from a physical therapy program approved by the board must have a valid, unencumbered license to practice physical therapy in the country in which the physical therapy education was obtained must have graduated from a program of physical therapy education with requirements substantially equal to those required of graduates of board approved schools, and must submit an application for review by the board. Supporting documentation will include but not be limited to:

(1) Official transcript from the physical therapy program showing degree date;

(2) Evaluation report of transcripts from a credentialing service approved by the board.

(3) Verification that English is the national language of the country where the physical therapy program is located and the physical therapy program employs English as the language of training; or achieved a score of not less than five hundred fifty on the test of English as a foreign language (TOEFL); and that the applicant has a score of not less than two hundred thirty on the test of spoken English (TSE);

(4) Verification of a valid, unencumbered license or authorization to practice physical therapy from the country in which the physical therapy education was obtained.)) (1) Applicants who have not graduated from a physical therapy program approved by the board must:

(a) Have a bachelor's degree in physical therapy with all credits earned at an institution of higher learning that confers at least a bachelor's degree in physical therapy which is approved by the country's Ministry of Education/Health, or governmental entity;

(b) Have a valid, unencumbered license or authorization to practice physical therapy in the country in which the physical therapy education was obtained;

(c) Have graduated from a program of physical therapy education with requirements substantially equal to those required of graduates of board-approved programs;

(d) Submit an application for review by the board;

(e) Submit official transcripts from the physical therapy program showing degree date; and

(f) Submit transcripts, fees, and other documentation to a credentialing service approved by the board and request the evaluation report be sent directly to the board.

(2) In addition to the other requirements of this rule, the applicant must demonstrate a working knowledge of English by obtaining:

(a) Scores of at least:

(i) 4.5 on the test of written English (TWE);

(ii) 50 on the test of spoken English (TSE); and

(iii) 220 on the computer-based test of English as a foreign language (TOEFL) or 560 on the paper-based TOEFL; or

(b) Scores on the test of English as a foreign language (TOEFL) internet-based test (IBT) of at least:

(i) 24 on the writing section;

(ii) 26 on the speaking section;

(iii) 21 on the reading section;

(iv) 18 on the listening comprehension section; and

(v) 89 on the overall examination.

(3) The board may request additional supporting documentation as necessary.

(4) The degree's total credits must be at least one hundred twenty-three. A semester credit is equal to fifteen hours of classroom instruction per semester. For courses with a laboratory component, a semester credit is also equal to thirty hours of laboratory instruction per semester. (A semester credit equals 0.67 quarter credits.)

The applicant may meet the objective of one hundred twenty-three semester credits requirement by using additional elective credits in either general or professional education beyond the minimal requirements.

(5) Substantially equal physical therapy education as used in subsection (1)(c) of this section, shall include a total of one hundred twenty-three semester credits or equivalent credits of college education including:

General education - at least fifty-four semester credits:

(a) Humanities - nine semester credits which may include English, speech, foreign language, literature, music/art, philosophy and other humanities courses;

(b) Social sciences - ten semester credits which may include history, social sciences, philosophy, civilization, psychology, sociology, economics and other social science courses;

(c) Biological, natural, and physical science - eight semester credits which may include chemistry, mathematics, physics, biology, zoology, anatomy, kinesiology, physiology and other biological and natural science courses. In addition, the applicant must have one semester (five semester credits) of chemistry with laboratory and one semester (four semester credits) of physics with laboratory.

(6) Professional education. An applicant who has graduated from an unapproved school must complete at least sixty-nine semester credits in the following topics:

(a) Basic health sciences. At least one semester (at least four semester credits) in each of the following topics:

(i) Human anatomy (specific to physical therapy);

(ii) Human physiology (specific to physical therapy);

(iii) Neurological science;

(iv) Kinesiology or functional anatomy;

(v) Abnormal or developmental psychology; and

(vi) Pathology.

(b) Clinical sciences. The essential element of physical therapy education is teaching the student to assess and treat appropriately across the spectrum of age. Therefore, any educational course work should contain all of the following:

(i) Clinical medicine pertinent to physical therapy. Including, but not be limited to:

(A) Neurology;

(B) Orthopedics;

(C) Pediatrics;

(D) Geriatrics.

(ii) Physical therapy course work including, but not limited to:

(A) Physical agents;

(B) Musculoskeletal assessment and treatment;

(C) Neuromuscular assessment and treatment;

(D) Cardiopulmonary assessment and treatment;

(E) Wound debridement/wound care;

(F) Pharmacology.

(c) Clinical education. Clinical education must include demonstrated application of physical therapy theories, techniques, and procedures, as supervised by a physical therapist. The applicant must have at least two clinical affiliations of no less than eight hundred hours total.

(d) Related professional course work. The applicant must complete three semester courses in the following topics:

(i) Professional ethics;

(ii) Administration;

(iii) Community health;

(iv) Research;

(v) Educational techniques; and

(vi) Medical terminology.

(7) Applicants must have received a grade of "C" or higher in all professional education course work.

(8) The applicant may apply for the College-Level Education Program (CLEP) and their scores may be applied toward college credit. The board will consider the conversion of CLEP scores to college credits provided by a board-approved credentialing agency.

(9) The board may allow applicants who have not graduated from a physical therapy program approved by the board to correct deficiencies by completing board-approved course work. To obtain course work preapproval, the applicant must submit a written request along with the course description/syllabus for the proposed course.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 18.74.023. 94-05-014 (Order 403B), 246-915-120, filed 2/4/94, effective 3/7/94; 93-04-081 (Order 328B), 246-915-120, filed 2/1/93, effective 3/4/93; 92-08-039 (Order 259B), 246-915-120, filed 3/24/92, effective 4/24/92; 91-02-011 (Order 103B), recodified as 246-915-120, filed 12/21/90, effective 1/31/91; 84-13-057 (Order PL 471), 308-42-125, filed 6/19/84.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office