Does a Physical Therapist Assistant's license allow him or her to work as a massage therapist?

No. A massage therapist license is required for the practice of massage.


Is joint mobilization within the scope of practice of a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant?

Physical Therapist Assistants working under the direct supervision of a Physical Therapist may perform peripheral joint mobilization so long as they have appropriate training and experience. It is not within the scope of Physical Therapist Assistant practice to perform spinal mobilization.


Can a person who is licensed as an Occupational Therapist [Physical Therapist] be employed as an Occupational Therapy Assistant [Physical Therapist Assistant] although he/she is not also licensed as an Assistant?

A duly licensed Occupational or Physical Therapist can not identify him/herself as a licensed Occupational Therapy or Physical Therapist Assistant unless they also hold the appropriate Assistant license.


Can a physical therapy aide perform routine percussion and vibration for patients with pulmonary conditions?

No. Chest percussion and vibration require the ongoing assessment and evaluation of an appropriated educated and trained licensed individual during performance of the procedure.


What kind of supervision is required for students in occupational and physical therapist and therapy/therapist assistant programs?

Direct supervision by an occupational Therapist [Physical Therapist] is required for Occupational Therapy [Physical Therapy] students. Direct supervision by either an Occupational Therapist or Occupational Therapy Assistant [Physical Therapist or Physical Therapist Assistant] is required for Occupational Therapy Assistant [Physical Therapist Assistant] students.

Direct Supervision is defined in the Board's regulations, at 259 CMR 2.01, as "A process by which a supervisor is on the premises and available to provide supervision in the form of aid, direction and instruction when procedures or activities are performed."


Does the Board hold licensed individuals to the codes of ethics and to professional practice standards?

The Practice Act (Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 13, and Section 11A) requires that the Board adopt rules and regulations relating to professional conduct and ethical standards of practice.

The Board regulations further define how this Board responsibility is implemented, through regulations requiring adherence to the Standards of Practice for Occupational Therapy and the Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics published by the AOTA (259 CMR 3. 01), the Code of Ethics of NATA and Standards of Practice of NATABOC (259 CMR 4.02 (6), and the Code of Ethics for Professional Conduct and the Standards of Physical Therapy Services and Physical Therapy Practitioners of the APTA (259 CMR 5.05 (1)) for the respective professions.



Revised February 28, 2013