Title 5
Businesses and Professions

Chapter 40
Physical Therapists

R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-40-1

§ 5-40-1. Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

(1) “Board” means the board of physical therapy established by § 5-40-2.

(2) “Department” means the department of health.

(3) “Diagnostic imaging” means techniques used to capture an image of a body part. For purposes of this chapter, diagnostic imaging shall include basic radiological imaging, commonly referred to as x-ray imaging, but shall not include other methodologies such as computer topography scan, ultrasound, bone scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or positron emission tomography scan.

(4) “Examination” means an examination approved by the department in consultation with the board.

(5) “License” means a license issued by the department to practice physical therapy.

(6) “Physical therapist” means an individual who is licensed by the department to practice physical therapy.

(7) “Physical therapist assistant” means an individual who is licensed by the department to assist in the practice of physical therapy under the supervision of a physical therapist.

(8) “Physical therapy” means the care and services provided by or under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist who is licensed pursuant to this chapter.

(9) “Practice of physical therapy” means:

(i)(A) Examination, evaluation, treatment, and instruction of patients/clients to detect, assess, prevent, correct, alleviate, and limit physical disability, physical dysfunction, and pain from injury, disease, and any other bodily conditions;

(B) Administration, interpretation, and evaluation of tests and measurements of bodily functions and structures;

(C) The planning, administration, evaluation, and modification of treatment and instruction, including the use of physical measures, activities, and devices, for preventive and therapeutic purposes;

(D) The provision of consultative, educational, and other advisory services for the purpose of reducing the incidence and severity of physical disability, physical dysfunction, and pain; and

(E) Ordering diagnostic imaging and studies that are performed and interpreted by other licensed healthcare professionals pursuant to the provisions of § 5-40-23.

(ii) The practice of physical therapy does not include the practice of medicine as defined in chapter 37 of this title.

(10) “Supervision” means that a licensed physical therapist is at all times responsible for supportive personnel and students.

History of Section.
P.L. 1982, ch. 261, § 2; P.L. 1988, ch. 359, § 1; P.L. 1988, ch. 434, § 1; P.L. 1992, ch. 232, § 1; P.L. 2003, ch. 133, § 1; P.L. 2003, ch. 152, § 1; P.L. 2017, ch. 130, § 1; P.L. 2017, ch. 312, § 1; P.L. 2021, ch. 207, § 1, effective July 7, 2021; P.L. 2021, ch. 327, § 1, effective July 9, 2021.