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  • Being More Inclusive in Your Practice

    Jan 13, 2020

    The College routinely goes out to speak with physiotherapy students in Ontario. At a recent session at Queens University with our colleagues from the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA), the Ontario Physiotherapy Association (OPA) and the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators (CAPR), one student asked us to speak about making practices and our own organizations more inclusive. This question got us thinking more about inclusion particularly when working with diverse communities who may have experienced a certain level of stigma in the past, such as the LGBTQ community, newcomers, migrants and refugees, and people with disabilities.

    We spoke about how younger physiotherapists are the catalyst for change in this area as they are the ones who can raise awareness and challenge traditional thinking. When we revisited this question at the College, we considered some practical ways that physiotherapists can make their practices more inclusive and we came up with the following list. 

    Here is what we thought about:

    1. As a health care practitioner, take steps to learn more about gender identity terms. For example, check out this gender identity and expression brochure.  
    2. Ask patients what their preferred name is and include this on written documentation including intake and consent forms.
    3. Ask patients what their preferred pronouns are and use them. Again, allow the patient to tell you this information on an intake/consent form.
    4. Where possible provide gender neutral washrooms or change the signage from something gender specific to washroom.
    5. Ask patients what you can do to make them comfortable in your practice.
    6. Engage in ongoing learning about the communities of patients that you serve.
    7. If you have staff that can deliver care in a language other than English, advertise which languages so patients are aware.
    8. Post Positive Space Signage or Inclusive Practice Signage in your practice.
    9. Consider diversity when you are hiring new staff.
    10. Think of barriers that may be preventing access to care and see if these barriers can be removed. For example, providing written resources in alternate formats or replacing stairs with ramps. 
    This list is a jumping off point and there are many things physiotherapists can do to make their practice more inclusive. Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights created a handbook for health care providers working with clients from diverse communities. The handbook can be used as a guide for health care workers in providing non-judgmental, stigma-free care – particularly for patients who have had prior experience being stigmatized in the health care system. The handbook provides a variety of tips and tricks, dialogue starters and resources, so be sure to give it a read. 

    Remember that under no circumstances can physiotherapists make decisions about providing care based on any of the grounds detailing in the Ontario Human Rights Code. This includes ancestry, race, sexual orientation, gender identity and more. 

    Also consider that Ontario has legislation that outlines accessibility standards in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). There are requirements and deadlines that you need to follow, depending on the type and size of your organization. Learn more about your accessibility requirements.

    If you have other suggestions about how to make health care more inclusive, we would love to hear them. Please leave a comment below. We will compile all of your suggestions and use them to create new resources on our website.
     
     
    Full story
    • AODA
    • accessibility
    • gender identity
    • providing care
    • physiotherapist
    • Patients
    • LGBTQ
    • diversity
    • inclusion
  • Social Media: The Line Between Professional and Personal

    Nov 20, 2019
    Full story
    • health care
    • Boundaries
    • Professionalism
    • physiotherapy
    • privacy
    • Standards
    • Practice Advice
    • social media
  • Can I Get a Do-Over? 11 Business Practice Regrets from Real PTs

    Aug 14, 2019
    Full story
    • registration number
    • billing
    • business practices
    • treatment
    • assessment
    • clinic owner
    • physiotherapy
    • physiotherapist
    • Delisted
    • business
    • Fraud
  • Five Steps to Minimize the Risk of Infection

    Jul 15, 2019
    Full story
    • protective equipment
    • hand washing
    • public health
    • equipment maintenance
    • infection prevention
    • infection control
  • Patients and Mental Health: Let’s Keep the Conversation Going

    May 08, 2019
    Key take-aways for physiotherapists from the webinar In Harm's Way: Strategies to Support Patients with Mental Health Issues.
    Full story
    • physiotherapist
    • self-harm
    • suicide
    • webinar
    • duty to warn
    • support
    • Patients
    • mental health
    • blog
  • Patient Privacy, Dignity and the Importance of Draping

    Apr 11, 2019
    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

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