Practice Advice & Frequently Asked Questions

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

College of Physiotherapists of Ontario Practice Advisors

College Practice Advisors (from left to right): Fiona Campbell PT, Shari Hughes PT, Kelly Schmitt PT, and Kirsten Pavelich PT
 

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:

A patient threatened me. What should I do?

Answer:

Determine the type and level of threat. Is the patient threatening to sue you? To post bad reviews about you on social media? Or have they made a threat that makes you fear for your safety, and do you think the threat is credible?

If the threat does not make you fear for your safety, have a discussion with the patient. Try to find out what is causing the behaviour and if there is a solution. Let them know that making a threat is not acceptable behaviour, and outline the behaviour you expect. For example, if they have a concern about care, they should discuss it with you so you can come to an agreement about how to proceed. You can let them know that if the behaviour continues, or the issue cannot be resolved and there is no longer a trusting therapeutic relationship, that you will arrange for them to continue care with another provider. 

If the threat makes you fear for your safety, take timely action to ensure that you are safe. This may include things like removing yourself immediately from the situation, or calling the police if needed. PTs generally must keep a patient's information confidential, but in cases where there is an imminent risk of bodily harm to someone, information that is necessary to minimize that risk can be released. You are not required to see a patient if it puts your own safety at risk. 

If you have question about managing difficult situations with patients, you can speak to a Practice Advisor. 

Boundaries and Sexual Abuse Standard

Providing or Refusing Care Standard