(SB 179)

Revise certain provisions related to the practice of occupational therapy.

         ENTITLED, An Act to  revise certain provisions relating to the practice of occupational therapy.


     Section  1.  That § 36-31-1 be amended to read as follows:

     36-31-1.   Terms used in this chapter mean:

             (1)      "Association," the South Dakota Occupational Therapy Association;

             (2)      "Board of examiners," the South Dakota State Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners;

             (3)      "Occupational therapists," any person licensed to practice occupational therapy as defined in this chapter and whose license is in good standing;

             (4)      "Occupational therapy," the evaluation, planning and implementation of a program of purposeful activities to develop or maintain adaptive skills necessary to achieve the maximal physical and mental functioning of the individual in his or her daily pursuits. The practice of " occupational therapy " includes , but is not limited to, consultation, evaluation , and treatment of individuals whose abilities to cope with the tasks of living are threatened or impaired by developmental deficits, the aging process, learning disabilities, poverty and cultural differences, physical injury or disease, psychological and social disabilities , or anticipated dysfunction. Occupational therapy services include such treatment techniques as task-oriented activities to prevent or correct physical or emotional deficits or to minimize the disabling effect of these deficits in the life of the individual; such evaluation techniques as assessment of sensory integration and motor abilities, assessment of development of self-care and feeding, activities and capacity for independence, assessment of the physical capacity for prevocational and work tasks, assessment of play and leisure performance, and appraisal of living areas for the handicapped; physical agent modalities limited to the upper extremities to enhance physical functional performance, if certified in accordance with §  36-31-6; and specific occupational therapy techniques such as activities of daily living skills, designing, fabricating , or applying selected orthotic devices or selecting adaptive equipment, sensory integration and motor activities, the use of specifically designed manual and creative activities, specific exercises to enhance functional performance , and treatment techniques for physical capabilities for work activities. Such techniques are applied in the treatment of individual patients or clients, in groups, or through social systems;

             (5)      "Occupational therapy aide," any person who assists in the practice of occupational therapy under the direct supervision of an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant;

             (6)      "Occupational therapy assistant," any person licensed to assist in the practice of occupational therapy, under the supervision of or with the consultation of a licensed occupational therapist and whose license is in good standing;

             (7)      "Occupational therapy committee," the committee provided for in this chapter ;

             (8)    "Physical agent modalities," modalities that produce a biophysiological response through the use of light, water, temperature, sound, or electricity, or mechanical devices. Physical agent modalities include:

             (a)    Superficial thermal agents such as hydrotherapy/whirlpool, cryotherapy (cold packs/ice), fluidotherapy, hot packs, paraffin, water, infrared, and other commercially available superficial heating and cooling technologies;

             (b)    Deep thermal agents such as therapeutic ultrasound, phonophoresis, and other commercially available technologies;

             (c)    Electrotherapeutic agents such as biofeedback, neuromuscular electrical stimulation, functional electrical stimulation, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, electrical stimulation for tissue repair, high-voltage galvanic stimulation, and iontophoresis and other commercially available technologies;

             (d)    Mechanical devices such as vasopneumatic devices and CPM (continuous passive motion) .

     Section  2.  That § 36-31-6 be amended to read as follows:

     36-31-6.   Any applicant applying for a license as an occupational therapist or as an occupational therapy assistant shall file a written application provided by the board, showing to the satisfaction of the board that he meets the following requirements:

             (1)      Residence: Applicant need not be a resident of this state;

             (2)      Character: Applicant shall be of good moral character;

             (3)      Education: Applicant shall present evidence satisfactory to the board of having successfully completed the academic requirements of an educational program in occupational therapy recognized by the board:

             (a)      The occupational therapy educational program shall be accredited by the committee on allied health education and accreditation/American Medical Association in collaboration with the American Occupational Therapy Association;

             (b)      The occupational therapy assistant educational program shall be approved by the American Occupational Therapy Association.

             (4)      Experience: Applicant shall submit to the board evidence of having successfully completed a period of supervised fieldwork experience arranged by the recognized educational institution where he met the academic requirements or by the nationally recognized professional association:

             (a)      For an occupational therapist, a minimum of six months of supervised fieldwork experience is required;

             (b)      For an occupational therapy assistant, a minimum of two months of supervised fieldwork experience is required.

             (5)      Examination: An applicant for licensure as an occupational therapist or as an occupational therapy assistant shall pass an examination approved by the board upon recommendation by the occupational therapy committee ;

             (6)    Certification: In order to apply physical agent modalities as defined in §  36-3-1, an occupational therapist or occupational therapist assistant shall be qualified pursuant to this subdivision, as follows:

             (a)    Has successfully completed twenty-five hours of American Occupational Therapy Association or American Physical Therapy Association approved education covering physical agent modalities and completed a supervised mentorship to include five case studies on each class of modality to be incorporated into patient care;

             (b)    Is certified as a hand therapist by the Hand Therapy Certification commission or other equivalent entity recognized by the board; or

             (c)    Has completed education during a basic occupational therapy educational program that included demonstration of competencies on each class of the physical agent modalities.

                 A supervising therapist or mentor may be a physical therapist, a certified hand therapist, or an occupational therapist who has completed a supervised mentorship and has five years of clinical experience utilizing each class of physical agent modalities; or an occupational therapist who has graduated from an occupational therapy program whose curriculum includes physical agent modality education .

     Signed March 7, 2005