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  • Patient Privacy, Dignity and the Importance of Draping

    Apr 11, 2019
    By: Fiona Campbell, PT
    Senior Physiotherapist Advisor

    Going to see a physiotherapist can be a bit scary for some patients. They’re asked to undress—often given a gown that doesn’t fit well or completely cover their body. They are touched and body parts are exposed. It’s a vulnerable position to be in.

    Now, remember when you were a student. You most likely felt awkward that first anatomy class when you had to strip off your clothes and practice auscultation techniques or pectoral stretches. But by graduation it was no big deal and most of us were clearly desensitized to exposing our body in front of a group. As comfortable as you might be, never forget that this is not the case for the majority of patients.

    When going for physiotherapy most patients find having someone see and touch their unclothed body as uncomfortable, intrusive, and most likely an undignified experience.

    Everything you do as a physiotherapist has the power to either strengthen and restore patient dignity or to diminish and undermine it. This is a chance for you to help create a safe, comfortable space for your patients.

    And so, one cannot overstate the importance of good draping. It plays a vital role in maintaining a patient’s dignity.

    The medical students at the University of Toronto produced a video on the principles of draping. The principles covered apply to PTs, as well as doctors and anyone else who sees a patient in varying states of undress. 

    The Highlights

    • Be clear with patients about how you will touch them, why you need to touch them and which body parts need to be exposed. Get permission (consent) each and every time.
    • Balance the patient’s need for privacy with your need to expose certain areas.
    • Give the patient options when possible.
    • Keep the time that body areas are exposed to a minimum.
    • Be sure the blanket or sheet will not slip or move. Give the patient control by asking them to hold the drape or position it in a way that makes them most comfortable.
    • Avoid unnecessary physical contact and use strategic barriers like pillows or draping between yourself and the patient’s body.
    • Position the patient comfortably and ensure they are warm. Check in regularly to see how they are feeling.
    • Consider cultural differences but don't assume everyone from a particular culture has the same values or sensitivities. That goes for age and gender too.

    Watch this video as a reminder of the importance of good draping and everything that goes along with that.

    Full story
    • physiotherapy
    • dignity
    • privacy
    • patient
    • draping
  • Life as a PT in a Rural, Remote or Northern Community

    Mar 18, 2019
    Full story
    • professional standards
    • standards of practice
    • access to care
    • remote
    • Northern Ontario
    • rural
    • blog
    • physiotherapy
  • Empathy: Keeping the Caring in Health Care

    Feb 19, 2019
    Lisa Pretty, Director of Communications and Chair of the Citizen Advisory Group Partnership, breaks down the importance of empathy and the lasting impression it has on patients.
    Full story
    • College of Physiotherapists of Ontario
    • compassion
    • Ontario
    • patient consultations
    • CAG
    • citizen advisory group
    • health care
    • physiotherapist
    • empathy
  • Tele-rehabilitation – Another Tool in Your Toolkit

    Jan 23, 2019
    Full story
    • Tele-practice
    • Telepractice
    • tele-rehab
    • tele-health
    • telehealth
    • wearable
    • videoconference
    • tele-rehabilitation
    • telerehabilitation
    • technology
    • skype
    • remote
    • physiotherapy
    • physiotherapist
    • out of province
    • Ontario
    • Northern Ontario
    • internet
    • cross-border
    • cross border
    • Consent
    • communities
  • Privacy Laws: The Times They Are A-Changin’

    Dec 11, 2018
    Full story
    • Health Information Custodian
    • HIC
    • PIPEDA
    • PHIPA
    • technology
    • patient information
    • security
    • privacy law
    • privacy breach
    • privacy
  • Legalizing Cannabis: What Does it Mean for Physiotherapists?

    Nov 13, 2018
    Full story
    • treatment
    • Consent
    • physiotherapy
    • legalization
    • cannabis
    • blog
  • Supervising Physiotherapy Residents: An Important and Rewarding Role

    Oct 19, 2018
    Peter Ruttan, registered physiotherapist and Investigator at the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario, blogs about the responsibilities of a Practice Supervisor when working with Physiotherapy Residents.
    Full story
    • physiotherapist
    • investigator
    • Peter Ruttan
    • Ontario
    • College of Physiotherapists
    • physiotherapy residents
    • supervision
    • practice supervisor
  • What I Learned from the College: Top Tips for New Physiotherapists

    Sep 17, 2018
    Guest blogger and PT student Ian Winningham shares what he learned during his clinical placement at the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario.
    Full story
    • record keeping
    • accounts
    • billing
    • fees
    • physiotherapist
    • student
    • blog
  • What’s Your Piece of #MeToo?

    Aug 23, 2018
    A blog from the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario's Registrar, Shenda Tanchak, discussing the importance of boundaries between physiotherapists and patients, in the wake of the Me Too movement.
    Full story
    • me too
    • patient
    • physiotherapist
    • Boundaries
  • Creating a Discussion: More than Just a Checked Box

    Jul 24, 2018
    Elizabeth Leung, a physiotherapy student who is doing a placement at the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario, blogs about the importance of consent in physiotherapy practice.
    Full story
    • student
    • physiotherapy
    • Consent

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