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  • Friend not Foe: A PT Student Experience

    Aug 31, 2015
    Lauren Quinn, PT Student – Clinical placement at the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario

    Lauren Quinn, PT Student – Clinical placement at the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario

    When I learned that I would be completing my clinical placement at the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario, I was apprehensive. In the world of PT students, I have found that the College is often misunderstood and sometimes negatively perceived.

    From creating standards to performing practice assessments, aka “audits,” to discipline hearings, my impression was that the College would be disciplinarian-like…but I could not have been more wrong. Within hours of working there, I quickly learned how supportive the College is to its members and how valuable a resource the staff are to all.

    Some people may see the College as an enemy to PTs because of its duty to protect the public. What might not be clear to all is that the College protects the public by actually working with physiotherapists to make sure they are ethical, competent and safe practitioners.

    Being self-regulated is a privilege.

    Why would I spend my time and my resources to become a trained physiotherapist if anyone could call themselves a PT and open their own practice?

    As a future PT, I am comforted knowing that the College is there to maintain the reputation of the physiotherapy profession and ensure the competency of practicing members.

    Practice Assessments

    When a PT thinks of the College, they most likely think about—and dread—the possibility of being selected for a practice assessment. That dread comes from a lack of understanding.

    I believe many PTs aren’t aware of the true nature of these assessments. Assessments are not designed to trick and punish PTs, but instead the College’s goal is to have members improve their practices based on their own reflections and a structured discussion with a peer.

    The assessment questions are available on the website and PTs can choose their own charts for discussion. Using this approach, the College hopes that PTs will be able to identify and correct any behaviour that may not meet the standards of practice before the assessment.

    I was pleasantly surprised to learn that after the assessment is complete, members are allowed to make a submission to the College to share how they have improved their practice if there were areas for improvement. If the member was unable to show that the assessment gaps have been addressed, the College then works closely with that PT to help them to meet the standards by giving them resources or setting them up to work with a peer coach.

    Concerns, Complaints and Investigations

    Similarly, investigations into concerns about health professional’s behaviour follow a fair and objective process. The College always assumes its members are professional, ethical and competent until there is evidence to prove otherwise. Complaints are thoroughly investigated and the members are encouraged to make a written response to share their side of the story.

    Typically, very few complaints are referred to the Discipline Committee, with most issues requiring no action or some form of remediation.

    It’s all about the College’s desire to protect the public by coaching physiotherapists to improve and making use of remediation. The College reserves strict disciplinary action for the most serious cases, where the protection of the public is a grave concern.

    I wrote this blog post—independent from the College—because of the discrepancy I noticed between the professional perception and the College’s objectives.

    College staff believe in the profession the members and is committed to helping members be their best professional selves.

    They are available to help PTs in any area of their practice, registration and professional obligations. You can also contact the Practice Advisor.

    As I transition into independent practice, making use of the College’s resources and knowledge will help me to be a better physiotherapist and deliver the best care to my patients.

    Because isn’t that why we all went through years of school and continuing education—to ultimately help rehabilitate our patients and improve their quality of life—so shouldn’t we support their protection as well?

    When I learned that I would be completing my clinical placement at the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario, I was apprehensive. In the world of PT students, I have found that the College is often misunderstood and sometimes negatively perceived. From creating standards to performing practice assessments, aka “audits,” to discipline hearings, my impression was […]
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  • Sitting in My Castle, Making Up the Rules…

    Aug 10, 2015
    Judging by some of the comments to some of my blogs, some of you must think I sit in my office, scheming to write rules that make the lives and jobs of physiotherapists harder than they need to be. When I wrote the blog “My support person hurt someone. Am I in trouble?” one person […]
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  • Patients or Friends—Does it Have to Be One or the Other?

    Jul 08, 2015
    Your patient asks you to play on her softball team. There’s nothing romantic and you have lots of common interests and a couple of common friends. Should you join the team? I’ve written in my blog about boundaries before—we are pretty clear that dating patients is a problem and that sexual relationships are forbidden. But […]
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  • Records, Consent and How to Stay out of Trouble

    Jun 08, 2015
    I’ve blogged about consent before (What do you call uninformed consent? Punchline: No consent at all). In that post, I reminded you that your job in getting consent is to make sure that the patient fully understands his or her options and makes his or her own decision about how to proceed. Too often, the […]
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  • Perspective is Everything

    May 20, 2015
              Shenda’s Peter’s Blog If the saying “perspective is everything“ holds true, then I got my fair share of ‘everything’ earlier this month at World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) in Singapore. It was an excellent conference with more than 3,500 PTs from around the world coming together for three days […]
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  • The Best Thing About Being A Professional…

    Apr 20, 2015
    Might be the worst thing too—you are accountable for all elements of your professional life. When things go right you should feel great—you helped a patient through a tricky problem, you contributed your time to a charity event, you had a successful business year. Well done! But you are also responsible for anything to do […]
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  • Let’s talk about S*X

    Mar 02, 2015
    Sharon’s young. Ali’s great looking. She’s treating the rotator cuff he tore playing ultimate Frisbee. They both like House of Cards. The next thing you know, Ali is offering to meet Sharon at a local pub and teach her how to play pool. She finds him attractive, can she say yes? Joan is recovering from […]
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  • Is It Health Care Or Is It A Business?

    Feb 04, 2015
    Does it have to be this way? I think that the difference between a health care profession and a business is simple: it’s in your motive. If you do this for a living to take care of patients, you are a professional. If your top priority is profit, you are a business person. Before you […]
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  • My support person hurt someone. Am I in trouble?

    Jan 05, 2015
    Scene 1: You assessed your patient and made a plan that included having her walk with a walker. But one day, in your absence, your support person independently decides that the patient is ready to use a cane instead. This was really bad judgement. Now the patient has fallen and broken her hip. Are you […]
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  • Bad Start to a New Career

    Nov 13, 2014
    I’m not kidding you, this was a conversation that one of my colleagues overheard recently on a train. Student 1 (let’s call him Jason): I’m going to start my own business. Student 2 (let’s call him Mateo): Me too—I’m never going to work for someone else. Jason: I know, right? And here’s what I’m going […]
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Contact the Practice Advisor

Free and anonymous counsel for PTs, patients, & the public. Learn More 

practiceadvice@collegept.org
416-591-3828 ext. 241
1-800-583-5885 ext. 241