Practice Advice & Frequently Asked Questions

Find the answer to your question below or contact the Practice Advisors for free and anonymous advice.

Practice Advisors College of Physiotherapists of Ontario - Fiona Campbell, Shari Hughes, Kelly Schmitt and Kirsten Pavelich

Anyone can contact the College for confidential practice advice. The College has a team of physiotherapists ready to answer your call or email and you can ask about anything related to physiotherapy.

Not sure what rule applies? Ask the Practice Advisor. Looking for something on the website and can't find it? Dealing with a tough ethical dilemma and need to talk it through? Call 647-484-8800 or 1-800-583-5885 (extension 241) or email advice@collegept.org.

Get in touch with the Practice Advisors

Practice Advice Question

Question:

I see patients for years and sometimes get invited to attend birthday parties and other events.

If professional boundaries are maintained, are there any other ethical issues I should consider? 

Answer:

A physiotherapist must maintain professional boundaries with each patient. Seeing a patient socially moves the relationship from a professional to a personal relationship.

Consider some of the challenges that may arise with attending these social gatherings:
    1. Privacy: you cannot discuss any health information outside of the clinical setting
    2. Communication: a physiotherapist needs to ensure discussions with patients about their care remains within a “clinic setting”.
    3. Maintaining professional objectivity: moving from a professional to a personal relationship may impact your ability to remain objective during delivery of care.

There are no simple yes or no answers to these questions but a PT should carefully consider the impact that attending such a function might have on their professional relationship with a patient.