Code Section

Business and Professions Code - BPC

DIVISION 2. HEALING ARTS [500 - 4999.129]

  ( Division 2 enacted by Stats. 1937, Ch. 399. )
  

CHAPTER 5.6. Occupational Therapy [2570 - 2571]
  ( Chapter 5.6 repealed and added by Stats. 2000, Ch. 697, Sec. 3. )

  
2570.3.  

(a) No person shall practice occupational therapy or hold himself or herself out as an occupational therapist or as being able to practice occupational therapy, or to render occupational therapy services in this state unless he or she is licensed as an occupational therapist under the provisions of this chapter. No person shall hold himself or herself out as an occupational therapy assistant or work as an occupational therapy assistant under the supervision of an occupational therapist unless he or she is licensed as an occupational therapy assistant under the provisions of this chapter.

(b) Only an individual may be licensed under this chapter.

(c) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as authorizing an occupational therapist to practice physical therapy, as defined in Section 2620; speech-language pathology or audiology, as defined in Section 2530.2; nursing, as defined in Section 2725; psychology, as defined in Section 2903; or spinal manipulation or other forms of healing, except as authorized by this section.

(d) An occupational therapist may provide advanced practices if the therapist has the knowledge, skill, and ability to do so and has demonstrated to the satisfaction of the board that he or she has met educational training and competency requirements. These advanced practices include the following:

(1) Hand therapy.

(2) The use of physical agent modalities.

(3) Swallowing assessment, evaluation, or intervention.

(e) An occupational therapist providing hand therapy services shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the board that he or she has completed post professional education and training in all of the following areas:

(1) Anatomy of the upper extremity and how it is altered by pathology.

(2) Histology as it relates to tissue healing and the effects of immobilization and mobilization on connective tissue.

(3) Muscle, sensory, vascular, and connective tissue physiology.

(4) Kinesiology of the upper extremity, such as biomechanical principles of pulleys, intrinsic and extrinsic muscle function, internal forces of muscles, and the effects of external forces.

(5) The effects of temperature and electrical currents on nerve and connective tissue.

(6) Surgical procedures of the upper extremity and their postoperative course.

(f) An occupational therapist using physical agent modalities shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the board that he or she has completed post professional education and training in all of the following areas:

(1) Anatomy and physiology of muscle, sensory, vascular, and connective tissue in response to the application of physical agent modalities.

(2) Principles of chemistry and physics related to the selected modality.

(3) Physiological, neurophysiological, and electrophysiological changes that occur as a result of the application of a modality.

(4) Guidelines for the preparation of the patient, including education about the process and possible outcomes of treatment.

(5) Safety rules and precautions related to the selected modality.

(6) Methods for documenting immediate and long-term effects of treatment.

(7) Characteristics of the equipment, including safe operation, adjustment, indications of malfunction, and care.

(g) An occupational therapist in the process of achieving the education, training, and competency requirements established by the board for providing hand therapy or using physical agent modalities may practice these techniques under the supervision of an occupational therapist who has already met the requirements established by the board, a physical therapist, or a physician and surgeon.

(h) The board shall develop and adopt regulations regarding the educational training and competency requirements for advanced practices in collaboration with the Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Board, the Board of Registered Nursing, and the Physical Therapy Board of California.

(i) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as authorizing an occupational therapist to seek reimbursement for services other than for the practice of occupational therapy as defined in this chapter.

(j) “Supervision of an occupational therapy assistant” means that the responsible occupational therapist shall at all times be responsible for all occupational therapy services provided to the client. The occupational therapist who is responsible for appropriate supervision shall formulate and document in each client’s record, with his or her signature, the goals and plan for that client, and shall make sure that the occupational therapy assistant assigned to that client functions under appropriate supervision. As part of the responsible occupational therapist’s appropriate supervision, he or she shall conduct at least weekly review and inspection of all aspects of occupational therapy services by the occupational therapy assistant.

(1) The supervising occupational therapist has the continuing responsibility to follow the progress of each patient, provide direct care to the patient, and to assure that the occupational therapy assistant does not function autonomously.

(2) An occupational therapist shall not supervise more occupational therapy assistants, at any one time, than can be appropriately supervised in the opinion of the board. Two occupational therapy assistants shall be the maximum number of occupational therapy assistants supervised by an occupational therapist at any one time, but the board may permit the supervision of a greater number by an occupational therapist if, in the opinion of the board, there would be adequate supervision and the public’s health and safety would be served. In no case shall the total number of occupational therapy assistants exceed twice the number of occupational therapists regularly employed by a facility at any one time.

(k) The amendments to subdivisions (d), (e), (f), and (g) relating to advanced practices, that are made by the act adding this subdivision, shall become operative no later than January 1, 2004, or on the date the board adopts regulations pursuant to subdivision (h), whichever first occurs.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 307, Sec. 13. (SB 821) Effective January 1, 2010.)