Case of the Month

Read real cases and their outcomes

  • Supervising a Forgetful Student

    May 07, 2019

    The Case

    The College received a complaint from an individual on behalf of her father, who was attending physiotherapy. The complainant was concerned that her father had not been properly informed that a physiotherapy student would be involved in his care, and further commented on the overall cleanliness of the clinic. 

    The complainant said that when she visited the clinic with her father, they were introduced to someone who identified themselves as a student in the process of becoming a registered physiotherapist. The student then assessed her father and treated him on two separate occasions. 

    When the complainant called the clinic after the second appointment, she was informed that the student was working under the supervision of a physiotherapist.
    The complainant was confused as she and her father had not been introduced to a physiotherapist during either visit and nobody asked her father if he was ok being treated by a student. 
    The PT confirmed that she was supervising a physiotherapy student at the time and noted that she was available during the appointments to take over treatment if needed, although she was not in the room for either session. 

    Regarding the overall cleanliness of the clinic, the complainant was concerned that the room seemed dishevelled during her father’s appointments, almost like the equipment and linens had already been used. 

    The physiotherapist confirmed that all equipment was expected to be properly cleaned and linens changed after every appointment in accordance with the clinic’s infection control policies. However, without being present during the appointments she was unable to ensure that the policies were followed, and the student admitted to occasionally forgetting to clean the room between appointments. 


    The Standards 

    It’s not uncommon for physiotherapists to offer placements to students as part of their education, however there are important rules that need to be followed, as laid out in the Supervision Standard. The physiotherapist doesn’t necessarily need to be present for assessment and treatment, however they are ultimately responsible and accountable for ensuring that the standards of practice are upheld when individuals under their supervision are providing patient care.

    Physiotherapists are required to get valid, informed consent from patients before incorporating students or physiotherapist assistants in the treatment plan. It’s imperative that a patient understands the unique roles of the PT and the student and that they have an opportunity to discuss concerns and ask questions.

    Infection prevention and control is an essential part of clinical practice management and physiotherapists have a responsibility to make sure that appropriate practices are in place. While supervising a student, it’s the physiotherapist’s responsibility to ensure that these protocols are followed. 

    The Outcome

    The physiotherapist was required to participate in a Specified Continuing Education and Remediation Program (SCERP) which included a comprehensive review of College standards, a meeting with a Senior Physiotherapist Advisor to discuss the supervision of physiotherapy students, and they were required to write a reflective paper. 

    All costs associated with the SCERP were paid by the physiotherapist and this information will appear on the Public Register for three years. 

    Supervision Standard
    Working with Physiotherapist Assistants Standard
    All About Consent
    Infection Control and Equipment Maintenance Standard
     
    A College of Physiotherapists of Ontario Case of the Month about supervising a physiotherapy student who may not have followed all the rules when delivering patient care.
    Full story
    • Case of the Month
    • supervisor
    • student
    • physiotherapy
    • Consent
    • infection control
    • supervision
  • The Clinic Owner Doesn’t Always Know Best

    Apr 10, 2019
    Full story
    • supervision
    • PTA
    • physiotherapy competency exam
    • physiotherapist assistant
    • assessment
    • independent practice
    • provisional practice
    • physiotherapist
    • holding out
    • Case of the Month
  • No Notes is Bad News

    Mar 18, 2019
    A College of Physiotherapists of Ontario Case of the Month about poor record keeping that ultimately led to an insurance (and College) investigation.
    Full story
    • Case of the Month
    • ethics
    • Delisted
    • insurer
    • Consent
    • registration number
    • billing
    • fees
    • record keeping
  • Missing: Consent, Communication and Acknowledgement

    Feb 19, 2019
    A College of Physiotherapists of Ontario Case of the Month about how lack of consent, communication and acknowledgement can lead to a complaint.
    Full story
    • complaint
    • treatment
    • Consent
    • Boundaries
    • physiotherapy scope
    • Communication
    • Case of the Month
  • Float On, but Don’t Say it’s Physiotherapy

    Jan 23, 2019
    A College of Physiotherapists of Ontario Case of the Month about a PT, a float therapy clinic, and some potentially questionable billing practices.
    Full story
    • insurance
    • Delisting
    • registration number
    • billing
    • fees
    • scope of practice
    • float therapy
    • physiotherapy
    • Case of the Month
  • There is Such a Thing as Too Friendly

    Dec 11, 2018
    A Case of the Month about a physiotherapist becoming too friendly with a patient, with additional reference to record keeping and billing practices.
    Full story
    • patient
    • physiotherapist
    • relationship
    • friendship
    • professional boundaries
    • therapeutic relationship
    • record keeping
    • informed consent
    • Consent
    • mechanical traction
    • insurance
    • accounts
    • billing
    • fees
    • Boundaries
    • Case of the Month
  • When Acupuncture Goes Very, Very Wrong

    Nov 13, 2018
    A Case of the Month about acupuncture treatment going horribly wrong, leading to a complaint against a physiotherapist.
    Full story
    • physiotherapist
    • physiotherapy
    • acupuncture
    • Case of the Month
  • 1,200 Hours Short of a Certificate

    Oct 19, 2018
    A College of Physiotherapists of Ontario Case of the Month about a physiotherapist who did not have sufficient practice hours when applying for a certificate of registration.
    Full story
    • Ontario
    • College of Physiotherapists
    • physiotherapist
    • Case of the Month
    • practice hours
    • registration
    • certificate
  • Can’t We All Just Get Along?

    Sep 17, 2018
    A College of Physiotherapists of Ontario Case of the Month about physiotherapists managing challenging collaborative care relationships.
    Full story
    • specialty designations
    • restricted titles
    • PTA
    • physiotherapist assistant
    • physiotherapist
    • physiotherapy
    • relationships
    • collaborative care
    • Case of the Month
  • Don’t You Forget About Me

    Aug 21, 2018
    College of Physiotherapists of Ontario Case of the Month about a physiotherapist who forgot about a patient during an acupuncture session.
    Full story
    • ICRC Committee
    • essential competencies
    • physiotherapy
    • acupuncture
    • Case of the Month
  • Caught Up in the Cryo Hype

    Jul 18, 2018
    A Case of the Month detailing how a physiotherapist wrongly incorporated cryotherapy in treatment plans and billed the services as physiotherapy, violating the standards of the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario.
    Full story
    • physiotherapist assistant
    • advertising
    • billing
    • physiotherapy
    • cryotherapy
  • You Can’t Laser Over History

    Jun 14, 2018
    June 2018 Case of the Month from the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario. The case outlines the use of laser therapy on a patient with a history of melanoma.
    Full story
    • physiotherapist
    • College of Physiotherapists
    • essential competencies
    • record keeping
    • laser therapy
  • The Snowball Effect

    Feb 20, 2018
    Full story
  • No Laughing Matter

    Dec 11, 2017
    Full story
  • Cheung Charged – Not A PT: Always Check the Public Register Before You Hire

    Nov 13, 2017
    Full story
  • Pilates Problems

    Oct 13, 2017
    Full story
  • Is what you’re doing REALLY physiotherapy? Or is it something else…

    Sep 07, 2017
    Full story
  • I’m Pretty Sure That’s Personal Training, Not Physiotherapy

    May 10, 2017
    Full story
  • Using Restraints on a Patient: Helpful or Harmful?

    May 09, 2017
    Full story
  • Physiotherapists MUST register with the College to Practice in Ontario

    Apr 04, 2017
    Full story

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