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  • What’s Your Ism?

    Aug 09, 2017

    How do your conscious or unconscious biases affect your ability to provide safe and effective care for patients?

    If you work in a private practice setting, think about your office for a minute.

    Do you have posters for promotion or décor?  Do you have gym equipment?  Is there any chance that these décor elements might intimidate obese, disabled or elderly patients?

    Hospital clinics can have some of the same design elements.  Images intended to inspire could have quite the opposite effect.  Is it possible that your décor makes patients hesitant to attend appointments or discouraged about their prospects for recovery?

    Décor, while tangible, is the least of the ways that your own feelings or beliefs may have an impact on your ability to help your patients.

    I was privileged to attend the World Congress for Physical Therapy last month and one of the sessions which most resonated for me was about critical thinking in physiotherapy.

    One speaker, Jenny Setchell, studied stigmatism in physiotherapy. You can find an article she published called “What Has Stigma Got to Do with Physiotherapy?” here.

    She shared an anecdote about attending an educational program intended to teach a particular technique for management of lower back pain.  At the session, a colleague noted that it would be difficult to perform the technique on an obese person. Fair enough, and perhaps that opinion would not deter a physiotherapist from performing it anyway, but maybe it would make them less likely to recommend it, or to believe they could perform it well.  Perhaps that patient would have fewer treatment options, not because of real physical barriers but because of an undetected stigmatism on the part of the physiotherapist.

    Ms. Setchell talked about stigmatism for disability, mental illness and persistent pain, as well as obesity.

    What do you think?  Do you stigmatize patients?  Or potential patients?

    We’re worried that the images on our College website perpetuate some isms – and we’ve set a goal of attaining a more realistic picture of physiotherapy practice.  Real PTs, real patients!

    Contact us if you’d like to see yourself or your practice on our website at communications@collegept.org.  We’re hoping to collect some new photos of real people over the next year to support all of you in identifying and managing your own isms.

    How do your conscious or unconscious biases affect your ability to provide safe and effective care for patients? If you work in a private practice setting, think about your office for a minute. Do you have posters for promotion or décor?  Do you have gym equipment?  Is there any chance that these décor elements might […]
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  • In It Together

    Apr 25, 2017
    You run a clinic. Your receptionist is rude. Your physiotherapist assistant bills for services not provided. Your brand-new PT burns a patient with a heating pad. Whose responsibility is all this? If you guess that you’re on the hook for behavior by those you employ or supervise, you are right. You work for a clinic. […]
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  • Doing The Right Thing – Nobody Said It Was Going To Be Easy

    Feb 03, 2017
    Have you heard of convicted serial killer Harold Shipman? He was a UK doctor found guilty of killing 15 of his patients. After his conviction, a two-year inquiry spearheaded by the British government revealed that he had in fact killed an upward of 250 patients throughout a 23 year span. Shipman’s killing spree began to […]
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  • How to Make Yourself COMPLAINT-PROOF!

    Nov 21, 2016
    Do you ever wonder who gets complained about? Look around at your colleagues and play a little game of detective with yourself. One way to start is to find someone who is rude—in writing or in person. A very high percentage of our complaints stem from inappropriate lapses in what you might call “customer service” […]
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  • My Big Fat Deal of the Day

    Oct 21, 2016
    Don’t you love the deals you can get on Groupon or WagJag? Great restaurant discounts! Cheap Go-Cart rides! Spin classes! Paint Nites! And have you ever tried the miracle noodles? What about when health professionals use these on-line ‘deal of the day’ marketing sites? Can anything go wrong? Maybe yes, maybe no. The problem is, […]
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  • Backstage Pass: So, What’s the College Really Like?

    Sep 12, 2016
    Having spent the last five weeks at the College doing my final clinical placement, I was able to gain insight into processes that, as a physiotherapy student, most are not exposed to. Going in I was aware (as I’m sure my peers are) of things like the complaints process and practice assessments when I thought […]
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  • You’re 10 times better than the clinic next door and twice as good looking!

    Jul 25, 2016
    Chances are that if you are reading this blog, you will also have noticed that our Advertising Standard is up for review. Do you know that it is likely our most breached Standard? And I’m sure that you did not know that as soon as the new Standard is finalized, we will begin to actively […]
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  • Let’s Get Strategic

    May 25, 2016
    Whoever first said ‘time flies’ could have been talking about the strategic planning cycle. Four years ago—a month after I had started working at the College― Council met to develop a strategic plan. They set three goals that we’ve been working hard to achieve, goals to ensure that physiotherapy regulation in Ontario focussed on things […]
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  • STOP IT BEFORE YOU GET IN TROUBLE! A RANT.

    Apr 05, 2016
    I am receiving more and more reports about physiotherapists sending patients for personal training or Pilates and enabling patients to submit receipts for these services under the physiotherapist’s registration number. Guess what? In many cases this is inappropriate and you could get in serious trouble. The ONLY time that your credentials can be used to […]
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  • When Breaking Up is Hard to Do

    Feb 09, 2016
    You’ve been seeing Janet for several months. She’s an elderly widow who first came to you following a knee replacement. She recovered quite well and is ready to be discharged. The problem is, Janet really likes you and wants to continue coming for therapy. She makes weekly appointments for the treatment of back pain. But, you are […]
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