Answers to Popular Questions

Check out the Practice Advice frequently asked questions and videos.

FAQs: Consent

  • As a PT, I've often heard that consent is a conversation, not a form. What exactly does that mean?

  • What is a lock box?

  • What is the age of consent for physiotherapy treatment?

  • What information do I need to provide a patient to be confident I get their informed consent for an assessment or treatment plan?

  • What evidence do I need from a patient to show consent for physiotherapy care?

  • Do I need to get consent for the involvement of a student in a patient's care?

FAQs: Controlled Acts

  • Do I need to roster for each individual controlled act?

  • Can I delegate O2 titration to a physiotherapist assistant (PTA)?

  • The PTA will need to switch the patient from the wall supply to a portable O2 tank, and stay at 2 L/min. Does this require delegation?

  • I have a patient who is on 2 LPM (L/min) of oxygen by nasal prongs. I want to assign gait training to a physiotherapist assistant (PTA). The PTA will need to switch the patient from the wall supply to a portable O2 tank, and stay at 2 L/min.

  • Do physiotherapists need to be rostered to increase a patient’s supplemental O2 level?

FAQs: Ethical Dilemmas

  • I believe my patient is having suicidal thoughts, can I call their Doctor and share my concerns about the patient?

  • Are PTs required to report patients with medical, cognitive or physical conditions which might cause unsafe driving?

FAQs: Relationships & Boundaries

  • I don’t understand why PTs can’t date their patients. If we’re all consenting adults then what’s the big deal?

  • What should I do if I suspect one of my co-workers is dating one of his or her patients?

  • One of my patients is very flirtatious. I think she likes me. What should I do?

  • A PT student on a placement with me has been regularly having coffee with one of the patients. What should I do?

  • How should I explain the mandatory reporting requirement to a patient who has been abused?

  • What happens to the mandatory report after it is made to the College?

  • I see patients for years and sometimes get invited to attend birthday parties and other events. If professional boundaries are maintained, are there any other ethical issues I should consider?

FAQs: Working with Physiotherapist Assistants (PTAs)

  • I am a PT in a hospital where PTAs are being asked to work on weekends. Are the PTs responsible for the PTA if something goes wrong on the weekend?

  • Can my physiotherapist assistant do an assessment and develop a care plan?

  • Can I go on a vacation for 1 or 2 weeks and leave my patients with my PTA if another PT at another site agrees to be a contact for the PTA?

  • Is a physiotherapist required to co-sign health record entries completed by a physiotherapist assistant?

  • Can a physiotherapist assign ongoing reassessment to the physiotherapist assistant?

  • I’m a physiotherapist assistant who would like to become a member of the College? How do I register?

  • Do I need to include the written communication protocol for PTs working with PTAs on each patient’s chart?

  • If the assessment is performed by someone other than a physiotherapist can the services be billed as physiotherapy?

  • Can I delegate O2 titration to a physiotherapist assistant (PTA)?

  • The PTA will need to switch the patient from the wall supply to a portable O2 tank, and stay at 2 litres. Does this require delegation?

  • I have a long-standing PT therapeutic relationship with an elderly patient who directs all her care. She confided with me that the support worker assigned to her is rude and difficult to have around. I am concerned. What do I do?

  • When does the physiotherapist assistant’s name and job title need to appear on the invoice?

  • Do the physiotherapist assistant’s name and title need to appear on OHIP, MVA, WSIB or other third party payor forms?

  • If I am not available (for example, I am working at another facility, it is the weekend or I have a day off) and the physiotherapist assistant will continue treatment, do I need to appoint an alternate supervisor?

  • Do I or the alternate supervisor need to be physically present when a PTA is providing treatment or can we be available by telephone?

  • Do all aides and assistants need to be called PTAs? Is Physiotherapist Assistant (PTA) a protected title? If I use a different job title in my practice, do I need to change it to meet the Standard?

  • Who can be a physiotherapist assistant (PTA)?

  • Do we need to have a written communication protocol for every patient or can we have one for the facility?

  • In situations where it is difficult to identify which PTA provided care to a patient, does the PT have to meet the expectation that the PTA’s name and job title will appear on invoices whenever they have provided all or part of the treatment?

  • When should a physiotherapist assistant contact the supervising physiotherapist?

Contact the Practice Advisor

For confidential practice advice, please contact:

Practice Advisor
416-591-3828 ext. 241
1-800-583-5885 ext. 241