Know your practice act

July 23, 2012

Are you a new professional or moving to a new state? Have you applied for a license to practice AT in your state? Yes? Good job. No? Stop reading my blog and apply.

I was recently having a conversation with a friend who moved to another state. He has his license, but had not looked at his practice act. If you plan on practicing in a state you must know the rules. Some states have practice acts that unfortunately restrict what you can do. Some states require you to have certain communication guidelines set up. Other states dictate a standing physician protocol be in place. There are some states that restrict the type of patients that you can treat.

Were you planning to work in the industrial or military setting? Does the state permit you to treat these patients?

As the NATA continues to work to decrease the restrictions that ATs practice under, some states continue to have “athlete” or “physically active” in the practice act. It may not be possible to remove this from all practice acts, however we need to consider how this might restrict us if we chose to treat someone who is within our scope of practice but not an “athlete.”

Take a few minutes to check out your state practice act. If you go to the BOC website ( there are links to the practice acts for each state. Be familiar with the practice act and understand that this is the restriction that the state has on your ability to practice. If you are outside of it you can be penalized. If you have questions about your practice act I would encourage you to touch base with your state leadership. Each state has a governmental affairs committee to serve the membership. They are there to answer your questions as well.


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