OT SLP PT License Help
So, you finished your first travel physical therapy contract closer to home, in your home state. Now you feel ready to venture out and take on travel contracts in other states and really see the country. Awesome!
However, now you need to start working to obtain a couple state PT licenses. Applying for a speech language pathology, occupational therapy or physical therapy license is a very straight forward process. You fill out an application, pay a fee and submit any items the state requires or the state requests them directly. However, you don’t want to take anything for granted and assume it’s an “automatic process” once you send them everything. Therefore I’d like to share a few points to help you obtain state licenses in the most efficient way possible.
Every State is Different
For better or worse, every state has slightly different requirements and times for completion to receive a license. Do not assume any state is alike. It could be something as small as you have to request school transcripts instead of the state requesting them. In addition to information posted on their website, I would always call for clarification. Let them spell it out to you so you full understand the requirements. It could be the difference of receiving your license on time or waiting an extended period of time for it.
Make sure any correspondence you mail out is sent with tracking and a signature request. You absolutely do not want to take a chance of lost or misplaced mail from USPS or from the state board’s own office. I have also heard from travelers that certain boards review items sent without tracking or signature last. Additionally, if you mail things standard mail, there is no proof or any trail of any sort that you sent anything out.
Want Your Physical Therapy License Sooner?
Be a P.I.T.A.
Everyone knows what a P.I.T.A. is, right? OK, let me share with you a story. About two years ago I was speaking with a speech language pathologist about relocating to Texas from New Jersey. The single item that I greatly stressed was being a PITA with the board. I told her that she wants to call them twice a week to follow up on where her file is in the process. After telling her all of this, she literally sounded skeptical to what I was saying and did not take me seriously.
The one action that is consistent with all therapy boards is this: If something is missing in your file, if something is not clear, if an “i” is not dotted or a “t” is not crossed they will halt working on your file and wait until the file has been updated. How do they notify you? -Form letter, snail mail. It can take weeks to reach you. Lately, the most common issue I have heard are schools promising to send transcripts then forgetting to do so.
The SLP I was speaking about? She did not believe me. How do I know? She called me 3 months later to tell me she received her Texas license 45 days later than expected and she lost the job in Texas because they did not want to wait for her SLP license. Even though she had completely relocated to Texas from New Jersey. She simply never called to follow up. When you call them weekly if something is amiss, they will tell you what’s wrong and you can work on fixing the issue asap instead of waiting to find out at a much later date.
In sharing this with you, I’m not trying to scare anyone or imply that any particular PT,OT or SLP board is incompetent. However, it’s better to be prudent and call 1-2 times a week to follow up and see where your file is in the process. If there is something wrong, they will tell you and you can work on the issue immediately instead of waiting for a letter stating what the issues are. Saying this, your license process could go off super smooth and there are no problems. However, I am a firm believer being prudent.