They say you should never watch sausage or our state's laws being made - you may enjoy the final product but you won't enjoy the legislative process.
This year physical therapists will challenge ourselves to update and modernize the physical therapist practice act (FS. 486).
The 2010 FPTA Advocacy Academy in Tallahassee put the lie to that old chestnut - when you get involved in grassroots advocacy for physical therapy you challenge yourself in a way that is scary and thrilling at the same time - I know because I did it from January 31st-February 1st, 2010.
I sat in a class of about 15 physical therapists and the FPTA Chief Executive Officer, Craig Crosby, while we listened to lobbyists, media consultants, staff lawyers, legislative assistants and other folks familiar with sausage, er... I mean laws, being made.
The agenda was as follows:
- Ken Jacob, physical therapist and the legislative process
- Sheila Nicholson, FPTA president and attorney on grassroots advocacy
- Barry Monroe from the Florida Senate Health Care Staff
- John Van Gieson, media consultant
- Bob Rowe, physical therapist update on manipulation and chiropractic legislative intent.
- Gene Adams and Martha Edenfield, FPTA lobbyists in Tallahassee
- Lisa Weisman, House legislative aide in Tallahassee
- protecting the designator, DPT, as the Doctor of Physical Therapy.
- removing only specific designators (eg: practice acts 458, 460, et al) from referring to physical therapy.
Anyone remember the issue with Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners (ARNP)?
They couldn't refer to PT because they weren't specifically designated. ARNP's receive their license under the nurse practice act (FS. 464) which is not specifically designated as being able to refer to PT. This issue will go away under the new practice act.
The new legislation can first be introduced on March 2nd, 2010 - the start of the 2010 legislative session in Tallahassee.
Physical therapists can help the process by calling your local, state legislator now, before March 2nd, and recommending support for an upcoming physical therapy bill.
A specific bill number will be available soon and updates are available at the FPTA website.