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"Scope of practice" refers to the range of duties carried out by a person licensed in a certain field of endeavor. The phrase is used to describe the types of procedures that may be performed by a holder of a specific type of license.
The "scope of practice" differs depending upon the type of licensure being addressed. The phrase most often refers to one of the various types of medical professions--nurses, dietitians, emergency medical technicians, surgeons, and so on--as well as to lawyers. The actual "scope" encompassed by the license for one of these types of professions is defined by the limitations set up by federal and state regulations. Individuals are required to prove competency through completion of evaluation procedures and/or testing before being granted licenses of approval to pursue the activities considered within the scope of practice of the approved area.
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