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Monday, December 6, 2021

Information about PT licensees providing vaccinations

Volunteerism to Assist in Slowing the Spread of COVID-19

The Board encourages licensees to seek volunteer options to help support the vaccination effort and slowing the spread of COVID-19:

  • Resource recommended by NCBON - a person can register through “TERMS” – Training Exercise Response Management System - then receive the additional training needed.  Link:  https://terms.ncem.org/TRS/
  • Individuals may seek training and opportunities to volunteer through their employers, local health departments and vaccination clinics

PT Licensee provision of Vaccinations and Statement regarding Executive Order 193

At its meeting March 10, 2021, the Board affirmed that performing vaccinations is not in the PT Scope of Practice, thus a licensee is not performing physical therapy and should not imply to a client that they are receiving physical therapy services if they are performing vaccinations. 

"In response to emailed questions to the NC Board of PT Examiners, giving vaccinations would not be considered within the scope of PT practice; however, it will not be considered a violation of the NC PT Practice Act or Board rules for a PT licensee to perform vaccinations if they have the proper education, training, are competent to do so and it is safe for the recipient. In addition the licensee should follow all other applicable state laws regarding providing vaccinations.  If a PT licensee is performing vaccinations they would not be called PT, nor is a PT license being used when providing the vaccination.  A licensee should therefore avoid creating the perception that what they are doing is physical therapy."

In response to the Governor’s Executive Order 193, because vaccinations are not considered in the scope of PT practice, there are no regulations for the Board to modify or waive related to individuals who may perform vaccinations.  To address regarding students, students are not licensees, thus they would need to obtain the appropriate training, become competent to perform vaccinations and follow all applicable state laws in the same way that PT licensees would do so.  

"In response to emailed questions to the NC Board of PT Examiners, giving vaccinations would not be considered within the scope of PT practice; however, it will not be considered a violation of the NC PT Practice Act or Board rules for a PT licensee to perform vaccinations if they have the proper education, training, are competent to do so and it is safe for the recipient. In addition the licensee should follow all other applicable state laws regarding providing vaccinations.  If a PT licensee is performing vaccinations they would not be called PT, nor is a PT license being used when providing the vaccination.  A licensee should therefore avoid creating the perception that what they are doing is physical therapy."

The Board has been made aware of these potential training resources as follows:  

NC AHEC - NC AHEC Program vaccine module for volunteers is live and free: https://www.charlotteahec.org/continuing-professional-development/event.cfm?eventid=65572 There is a certificate at the end that learners can print as proof that they have taken the course.

NCDHHS - https://files.nc.gov/covid/documents/COVID-Immunization/12.10.20_cvms_orientation_training.pdf

Obtain training under a supervising MD who will be onsite during vaccination performance and provide supervision.

Information about vaccinations
Important Information from NC PT Board - Vaccinations and Licensee Patient Safety Responsibility

The North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners answers questions daily for licensees and members of the public on topics including COVID-19 related issues.  This email blast contains updated information licensees may find useful regarding:

  • Availability of vaccinations for licensees and
  • Use of the 3 W’s and
  • PT licensee’s role and responsibility in public safety for both licensees and the general public

Vaccinations

NC DHHS has issued guidance to the public regarding the distribution of vaccinations (see links below) While some licensees may have already received a vaccination based on their work setting, others will need to sign up with their local health department or pharmacy to obtain a vaccination.  As a healthcare licensee working in direct patient care, particularly with those at high COVID risk, you will fall into Phase 1a or 1b (see links below)

Information provided by Dr. Elizabeth C. Tilson, MD, MPH, State Medical Director, Chief Medical Officer:

The most current information will be posted on the websites and links noted below:

More detailed information is available at yourspotyourshot.nc.gov and in the resources below: 

In addition, we encourage you to share vaccine resources below with your networks. 

  • Flyer on Vaccines (English / Spanish
  • Presentation COVID-Vaccination 101  (English) Spanish forthcoming
  • Frequently Asked Questions (English / Spanish
  • Videos on Vaccine Rollout 
  • NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen shares information on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan (45-second30-second
  • NCDHHS Deputy Secretary Ben Money shares information on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan (link
  • Videos for Long-Term Care 
  • North Carolina long-term care workers share their reason for taking the newly developed COVID-19 vaccine (90-second60-second30-second
  • NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen shares information on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan long-term care facility workers (60-second) 
  • NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen shares information on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan for families of long-term care residents (link
  • NCDHHS Deputy Secretary Ben Money shares information on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan for long-term care facilities (60-second, 30-second

In addition, we are regularly updating the web page. Continue to check the Vaccines page on the website for more information and resources as they are available: yourspotyourshot.nc.gov. The page is also available in Spanish: covid19.ncdhhs.gov/vacuna

Local Health Department links to sign up: (https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/findyourspot) scroll to the listing. 

Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson, MD, MPH

State Health Director

Chief Medical Officer

NC Department of Health and Human Services

Help protect your family and neighbors from COVID-19.

Know the 3 Ws. Wear. Wait. Wash.

#StayStrongNC and get the latest at nc.gov/covid19.

 

3 W’s  - All North Carolinians are requested to use the 3W’s to slow the spread of COVID-19

 https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/slow-spread/know-your-ws-wear-wait-wash

 Health care licensees have a responsibility to provide safe patient care.  Using these yourself and encouraging staff and patients to use the 3W’s as advised by the NC Department of Health and Human Services is recommended. 

PT Licensee Responsibilities for patient safety:

Inherent in PT Practice Act and Board rules is the responsibility to be mindful of patient safety and to only provide services when they can be provided in a safe manner.  21 NCAC 48C .0102 specifies the responsibilities of licensees which include determining the patient care plan and providing service to the patient when it is safe and effective for the patient.  A licensee must have first-hand knowledge of the health status of each patient.  These duties and responsibilities include safe provision of services while considering potential impacts and risks of patients light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Reporting COVID related safety violations:

The North Carolina Board of PT Examiners does not have jurisdiction over facilities or enforcement of the Governor’s Executive Orders, thus, if you have a complaint regarding COVID related safety violations please email: covidcomplaints@dhhs.nc.gov

 

Notice from the North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners regarding Covid-19

Updated – April 9, 2020

The Board will update postings when new information comes available.  Please check this page periodically. 

North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Office update: NEW – Wake County Stay-at-Home proclamation (http://www.wakegov.com/news/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=1200 and http://www.wakegov.com/covid19/Documents/FinalSignedSOE3-26-20.pdf )

 The Board office is located in Wake County and remains closed to the public; the majority of the office staff will work remotely after March 27, 2020 at 5 pm, but will continue to provide services.  During this time, you may experience delays in our response time to your inquiries and we appreciate your patience. We apologize for any inconvenience.  You may contact us at PTBoard@ncptboard.org or 919-490-6393 or 800-800-8982 where you may leave an email address where we can contact you. 

The following is provided to inform and intended to be used to assist and guide decision-making as you determine what actions to take in order to keep you and your patients safe.   

NEW - The NC Board of PT Examiners does not have the legal authority to close clinics or other facilities where licensees work; it is responsible for PT and PTA licensees and their compliance with the state PT law and regulation. The Governor and other state and local officials have the authority to issue orders and close businesses pursuant to the State Emergency Management Act which may be reasonably necessary to maintain order and protect lives during a state of emergency. The Governor and local officials have issued such orders and we continue to monitor them. The Board has posted resources on its webpage where licensees can access information about COVID-19 and make determinations regarding their response to providing healthcare services.

CISA, the Department of Homeland Security - Cyber and Infrastructure Security Agency, has issued guidance on “…Identification of Essential Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response” which is posted on our website. Physical therapists are included under “Caregivers” as are various settings where physical therapist licensees work. In Wake County, North Carolina where the Board office is located, there is a stay-at-home order, which references the CISA memorandum (https://www.cisa.gov/sites/default/files/publications/CISA-Guidance-on-Essential-Critical-Infrastructure-Workers-1-20-508c.pdf) and specifically identifies physical therapy businesses as is being essential to health, safety and welfare of Wake County residents. This is similar to many other proclamations and orders that have been issued in North Carolina.

Physical therapists do have a responsibility for safety of their patients and must make a judgement based on the status of their patients and use the best information available to them about the risk of exposure of their patients to COIVD-19 about how to mitigate that risk, which may include clinic closure. I hope this information is helpful to you during these unprecedented times.

Federal / State health officials links to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19):

www.cdc.gov
www.ncdhhs.gov – go to Coronavirus resources
https://governor.nc.gov/news/executive-orders - Governor Cooper Executive Orders

Remote provision of physical therapy services:

NCBPTE statement on Telehealth – https://ncptboard.org/app/Announcements/Announcements.php#Telehealth%20Questions

Other resources regarding COVID-19

American Physical Therapy Association – www.apta.org/Coronavirus and APTA Statement on Patient Care and Practice Management During COVID-19 Outbreak

For reimbursement questions, contact APTA North Carolina- new COVID-19 Resource Page- https://ncpt.org/page/covid19 or contact your provider directly

Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy - https://pediatricapta.org/ - Covid-19 resources

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction – Home page - https://www.dpi.nc.gov/ -Coronavirus Response and Resources

NC School-based Physical Therapy COVID-19 and Telehealth Resources webpage.

From the Office of Civil Rights

Notification of Enforcement Discretion for Telehealth Remote Communications During the COVID-19 Nationwide Public Health Emergency

https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/special-topics/emergency-preparedness/notification-enforcement-discretion-telehealth/index.html

North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners – Answer to questions posed during COVID-19 pandemic - Licensing

The Board has not changed or waived any licensing requirements for initial licensure, endorsements, revivals or renewals at this time.  If there are changes to the NC PT Practice Act or Board rule requirements for licensing, they will be posted on the Board website.

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATES FOR NC PT/PTA APPLICANTS AND LICENSEES

The NCBPTE is open and is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and the potential impact it is having on our applicants and their ability to obtain and submit information.  Please monitor this section of the Board website for any updates to the current application processes.

For the latest updates, please click on the links below


Out of State Flowchart for FBI and CBC

In State Flowchart for FBI and CBC

FBI Criminal Background Check Web Instructions

National Physical Therapy Exam and Prometric Updates

Continuing Competence Requirements Updates

Telehealth Questions

APTA North Carolina – Information regarding telehealth – issue 03-19-20
(https://ncpt.site-ym.com/page/ncpta_newsletters)

Questions about responding to advisories from the CDC or NC DHHS