What’s it mean to be a PT part I

 

 

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.

  1. 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.
    1. It’s been published that some students receive lower grades during a clinical correlating with race.
    2. PT students may not feel comfortable treating the older patient with the same principles as the younger patient per this
    3. 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.

  1. Physical therapists shall recognize their personal biases and shall not discriminate against others in physical therapist practice, consultation, education, research, and administration.
    1. 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.

Author: Dr. Vince Gutierrez, PT, cert. MDT

After having dedicated 8 years to growing my knowledge regarding the profession of physical therapy, it seems only fitting that I join the social media world in order to spread a little of the knowledge that I have gained over the years. This by no means is meant to act in place of a one-one medical consultation, but only to supplement your baseline knowledge in which to choose a practitioner for your problem. Having completed a Master of Physical Therapy degree, the MDT (Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy) certification and currently finishing a post-graduate doctorate degree, I have spent the previous 12 years in some sort of post-baccalalaureate study. Hopefully the reader finds the information insightful and uses the information in order to make more informed healthcare decisions. MISSION STATEMENT: My personal mission statement is as follows: As a professional, I will provide a thorough assessment of your clinical presentation and symptoms in order to determine both the provocative and relieving positions and movements. The assessment process and ensuing treatment will be based on current and relevant evidence. Furthermore, I will educate the patients regarding their symptoms and their likelihood of improving with either skilled therapy, an independent exercise program, spontaneous recovery or if the patient should be referred to a separate specialist to possibly provide a more rapid resolution of symptoms. Respecting the patient’s limited resources is important and I will provide an accurate overview of the prognosis within 7 visits, again based on current research. My goal is to empower the patient in order to take charge of both the symptomatic resolution and return to full function with as little dependence on the therapist as possible. Personally, I strive to be an example for family and friends. My goal is to demonstrate that success is not a byproduct of situations, but a series of choices and actions. I will mentor those, in any way possible, that are having difficulty with the choices and actions for success. I will continue to honor my family’s “blue-collar” roots by working to excel at my chosen career and life situations. I choose to be a leader of example, and not words, all the while reducing negativity in my life. I began working towards the professional aspect of the mission statement while still in physical therapy school. By choosing an internship that emphasized patient care and empowering the patient, instead of the internship that was either closest to home or where I knew that I would have the easiest road to graduation, I took the first step towards learning how to utilize the evidence to teach patients how to reduce their symptoms. I continued this process by completing Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy courses A-D and passing the credentialing exam. I will continue to pursue my clinical education through CEU’s on MDT and my goal is to obtain the status of Diplomat of MDT. Returning back to school for the t-DPT was a major decision for me, as resources (i.e. time and money) are limited. My choice was between saving money for the Dip MDT course (about 15,000 dollars) and continuing on with the Fellowship of American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists (FAAOMPT) (about 5,000 dollars), as these courses are paired through the MDT curriculum or returning to school to work towards a Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree. I initially planned on saving for the Dip MDT and FAAOMPT, but life changes forced me to re-evaluate my situation. The decision then changed to return for the tDPT, as my employer paid for a portion of the DPT program. My goal for applying to and finishing the Dip MDT and FAAOMPT is 10 years. This is how long I anticipate that it will take to finish paying student loans and save for both programs, based on the current rate of payment. I don’t know if I will ever accomplish what I set forth in the mission statement, but I do know that it will be a forever struggle to maintain this standard that I set for myself.

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