36-31-1. Definition of terms.

Terms used in this chapter mean:

(1)    "Board," the State Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners;

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

(3)    "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 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;

(4)    "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;

(5)    "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; and

(6)    "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; and

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

Source: SL 1986, ch 323, § 1; SL 2005, ch 205, § 1; SL 2024, ch 152, § 13.