CHAPTER 367

PHYSICAL THERAPISTS

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 24, DELAWARE CODE, ENTITLED "PROFESSIONS AND OCCUPATIONS" BY PROVIDING FOR THE EXAMINATION AND REGISTERING OF PHYSICAL THERAPISTS.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section I. Title 24, Delaware Code, is amended by adding thereto a new chapter to read as follows:

CHAPTER 26

PHYSICAL THERAPY

§ 2601. Definitions

As used in this chapter--

"Board" means the State Examining Board of Physical Therapists.

"Physical Therapist" means a person who practices physical therapy as defined in this chapter under the prescription, supervision and direction of a person licensed in this State to practice medicine and surgery.

"Physical Therapy" means the treatment of any bodily or mental conditions of any person by the use of the physical, chemical and other properties of heat, light, water, electricity, massage and therapeutic exercise which includes posture and rehabilitation procedures. The use of Roentgen rays and radium for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes, and the use of electricity for surgical purposes, including cauterization, are not authorized under the term physical therapy as used in this chapter.

§ 2602. State Examining Board of Physical Therapists; members; appointment; terms. of office; vacancies; organization

(a) The State Examining Board of Physical Therapists is created. The Board shall consist of three members, who shall be appointed by the Governor from a list submitted to him by the Delaware Chapter Inc., of the American Physical Therapy Association. Each member of said Board shall be registered, a resident of the State, and shall have not less than two years experience in the practice of physical therapy immediately preceding his appointment and shall be actively engaged in the practice of physical therapy during his incumbency.

(b) Three members shall be appointed by the Governor, whose terms of office shall commence on July 1, 1955; one member to serve for one year, one member to serve for two years, and one member to serve for three years. Upon the expiration of such terms the Governor shall appoint successors for terms of three years. In the event that a member of the Board for any reason cannot complete his term of office, another appointment shall be made by the Governor in accordance with the procedure stated above to fill the remainder of the term. No member may serve for more than two successive three-year terms. The Board shall designate one of its members as chairman, and one as secretary-treasurer.

§ 2603. Rules and regulations

The Board shall have the power to make such rules not inconsistent with the law which may be necessary for the performance of its duties.

§ 2604. Compensation

Each member of the Board shall receive compensation for each day actually engaged in the discharge of his duties. The compensation shall be determined by the Board and shall be a reasonable amount based on the time spent on work pertaining to the affairs of the Board.

§ 2605. Duties of the Board

The Board shall pass upon the qualifications of applicants for registration, prepare the necessary lists of examination questions, conduct all examinations and determine the applicants who successfully pass examination.

§ 2606. Registration requirement

A person who is not registered with the examining Board as a physical therapist shall not represent himself as being so registered and shall not use in connection with his name the words or letters "R. P. T.", "Registered Physical Therapist", "Physical Therapist", or "Physio-therapist", or any other letters, words or insignia indicating or implying that he is a registered physical therapist. Nothing in the chapter shall prohibit any person who does not in any way assume or represent himself or herself to be a "Registered Physical Therapist", abbreviated "R. P. T.", or "Physical Therapist", or "Physiotherapist", from practicing physical therapy as defined above.

§ 2607. Application requirements

An applicant for a certificate of registration as a physical therapist shall file written application on forms provided by the Board. The applicant shall present satisfactory evidence that he is at least 20 years of age, is of good moral character, has obtained a high school education or its equivalent, and has been graduated from a school of physical therapy approved for training physical therapists by the appropriate sub-committee of the American Medical Association, if any, at the time of his graduation, or if graduated prior to 1936, the school or course was approved by the American Physical Therapy Association at the time of his graduation. He shall pay to the Board $15 and present himself for examination at the first meeting thereafter at which examinations are to be held.

§ 2608. Examination

The examination shall embrace the subjects, theories, and techniques used by the physical therapist in performing the practice of physical therapy as defined in this chapter.

§ 2609. Certificate of registration

(a) The Board shall furnish a certificate of registration to each applicant who successfully passes the examination for registration as a physical therapist.

(b) The Board shall furnish a certificate of registration in physical therapy without examination to any person who applies for such registration on or before July 1, 1957, and who at the time of the passage of this chapter, meets the qualifications for a physical therapist as set forth by the American Physical Therapy Association and for a senior member of the American Registry of Physical Therapists, and who, at the time of application is practicing physical therapy. At the time of making such application, such applicant shall pay to the secretary-treasurer of the Board a fee of $15.

§ 2610. Reciprocity

The Board may issue a certificate of registration in physical therapy without examination to an applicant who presents evidence satisfactory to the Board of having been licensed or certified as a physical therapist in another State, territory, or foreign country with standards determined by the Board to be as high as those of this State, and if the state, territory, or foreign country whence applicant comes accords a similar privilege of registration without examination to holders of certificates as registered physical therapists under this chapter. At the time of making application, such applicant shall pay to the secretary-treasurer of the Board a fee of $15.

§ 2611. Temporary certificates

The Board may also issue without examination a permit to practice physical therapy for not to exceed 12 months to any person who meets the qualifications of this chapter upon notice that he has been assigned to this State on a temporary basis to assist in a medical emergency, or to persons who enter the State between dates of examinations.

§ 2612. Renewal of certificate

Every registered physical therapist shall, during the month of January, 1956, and during the month of January every year

thereafter, apply to the Board for an extension of his registration and pay a fee of $2 to the secretary-treasurer. Registration that is not so extended in the first instance before January 31, 1956 and thereafter before January 31 of every successive year, shall automatically lapse. The Board shall revive and extend a lapsed registration on the payment of all past unpaid extension fees not to exceed $15.

§ 2613. Grounds for refusal or revocation

The Board shall refuse to grant registration to any physical therapist or shall revoke the registration of any physical therapist if he:

(1) is addicted to the use of narcotic drugs or alcoholic beverages

(2) has been convicted of violating any state or Federal narcotic law

(3) has obtained or attempted to obtain registration by fraud or material misrepresentation

(4) is guilty of any act derogatory to the standing and morals of the profession of physical therapy, including the treatment or undertaking to treat ailments of human beings otherwise than by physical therapy and as authorized by this chapter, and undertaking to practice independent of the prescription, direction and supervision of a person licensed in this State to practice medicine and surgery.

§ 2614. Records; inactive register

(a) The Board shall keep a record of proceedings under this chapter and a register of all persons registered under it. The registration shall show the name of every living registrant, his last known place of business and last known place of residence and the date and number of his registration and certificate as a registered physical therapist. Any interested person in the State is entitled to obtain a copy of that list on application to the Board.

(b) The Board shall also keep an inactive register. Any person who has been registered in the State and is neither residing within the State, nor actively engaged in the practice of physical therapy in the State, may at his request, be placed on the inactive register. Provisions for inactive status shall be set up by the Board.

§ 2615. Violations and penalties

Whoever violates any of the provisions of this chapter or wilfully makes any false representation to the Board in applying for a certificate shall be fined not more than $500.

Approved July 1, 1955.