As professionals, we are all supposed to practice in accordance with the core values and within the Code of Ethics. Having conversations with PT’s all over the country regarding unethical situations makes me think that some in the profession could use a refresher. Especially those (me included) that may not have been paying close attention to this information while in school.
Principle #1: Physical therapists shall respect the inherent dignity and rights of all individuals.
It’s unfortunate that there are people that make bad decisions in life. There are cases of PT’s acting inappropriate with patients. Here’s a recent article regarding a PT that was found to act inappropriately by his state board.
Moral of the story: patients have inherent rights as people. Although we are in a position of trust, we must never do anything to compromise that trust that patients place in us. Patients are coming to us at a vulnerable time in his/her life and we must acknowledge that.
- Physical therapists shall act in a respectful manner toward each person regardless of age, gender, race, nationality, religion, ethnicity, social or economic status, sexual orientation, health condition, or disability.
- It’s been published that some students receive lower grades during a clinical correlating with race.
- PT students may not feel comfortable treating the older patient with the same principles as the younger patient per this
- Another study speaks to the disparities among races for receiving medical care for knee
I guess that I have been naïve all of these years. As a minority that comes from a blue-collar family, I never paid attention to this and have not seen it personally. We have to take into account our implicit bias at all times. For instance, I recently attended a health fair at the local Spanish Community Center and the people were so surprised that a Mexican from “the neighborhood” was able to earn the title of Doctor. This type of bias affects every generation that gets infected with this negative thinking.
- Physical therapists shall recognize their personal biases and shall not discriminate against others in physical therapist practice, consultation, education, research, and administration.
- I thought that a lot of these principles were common sense and part of being a good person, but apparently there are a lot of people who have these biases in healthcare.
THIS IS THE FIRST IN A SERIES OF POSTS THAT I WILL BE DOING ON THE CODE OF ETHICS AND CORE VALUES. FOR SO LONG, I’VE ATTEMPTED TO LIVE THESE CORE VALUES OF OUR PROFESSION, BUT THEN I HAVE COME TO REALIZE THAT SO MANY OF MY STUDENTS COULDN’T RECITE THEM. TO ME THIS MEANS THAT THEY HAVEN’T BEEN INTERNALIZED. AS PROFESSIONALS, WE NEED TO ACT LIKE PROFESSIONALS AND AT LEAST BE AWARE OF OUR CORE VALUES AND CODE OF CONDUCT.