Fostering Legal and Ethical Delegation & Supervision In Clinical Practice: From the Classroom To The Clinic

Purpose : To describe an innovative two pronged teaching and learning module for teaching Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program and physical therapist assistant (PTA) program students, and subsequently, clinical physical therapists (PT) and physical therapist assistants (PTA) about varied aspects of delegation and supervision through engagement in structured, collaborative, and interactive exercises directed at learning to appreciate need for shared decision making and generate enhanced commitment to comply with laws, regulations, and ethical guidelines governing delegation and supervision for best practice.Description : The 21st century PT performs clinical and administrative functions including supervision of support personnel1 such as a PTA who can work only under the direction and supervision of a PT.2 However, seeds for making appropriate determinations of what can be delegated and what level of supervision is appropriate for the delegated task must be sown collectively for both PTs and PTAs early on for maximum carryover and reinforced with practicing clinicians as well. As a result, a DPT and PTA program collaborated to require their students to collectively attend a half day teaching and learning activity. Each DPT student was paired with a PTA student and attended a presentation on biomedical ethical principles, American Physical Therapy AssociationÕs [APTA] ethical guidelines pertaining to delegation and supervision3,4, and relevant current state laws and regulations5 with Medicare guidelines for billing in PT practice6 were also discussed. After the presentation, the students formed teams of PT/PTA students to engage in an interactive teaching and learning activity to analyze case studies specifically written to address various aspects of delegation and supervision dilemmas; and subsequently, presented their case study analysis to the class, answered peer and faculty questions, and accepted constructive feedback. The second prong of this teaching and learning module was directed at offering a similar teaching and learning opportunity to physical therapy personnel from clinical facilities affiliated with the DPT program. The teaching and learning module was taught by the Director of Clinical Education [DCE] and was pre-approved for 4 hours of continuing education credit (CEU) by the state board of medical licensure so as to encourage maximal attendance by clinicians.Summary of Use : The collaborative module was successfully taught for the past six years with positive student and clinician assessments. Both groups indicated to instructors/facilitators that the collective PT/PTA approach to learning this content was preferred as each group benefited from insights of the other and appreciated the one-on-one direct contact dialogue.Importance to Members: Starting the process of cultivating PT-PTA partnerships with students and reiterating the same through a CEU course for PTs-PTAs is critical to emphasizing the interrelatedness of their roles and potential for future legal liability of both professionals.

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  • Control #: 2026047
  • Type: Platform
  • Event/Year: CSM2015
  • Authors: Aliya N. Chaudry, Stephanie Burns, Elizabeth R. Beasley
  • Keywords: Delegation|Supervision|PTA

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