John Casey MISCP MScSportsMed
In the current climate there are many types of mainstream and alternative health providers working privately and seeing people on a self-referral basis. The treatment approaches and evidence behind them vary widely. This makes it a minefield for the general public to ascertain the most appropriate avenue for them to pursue in seeking assessment and treatment of ailments such as lower back pain, neck pain, sciatica and arthritic joints.
Unfortunately, until recently, there was no regulation in Ireland as to who could call themselves physiotherapists/physios and so the standard of care varied hugely, and people could not tell what was ‘good’ treatment and what wasn’t until they had parted with considerable amounts of money.
CORU (www.coru.ie) was set up in 2005 to protect the pubic by promoting high standards of professional conduct, education, training and competence through statutory registration of health and social care professionals. All physiotherapists in Ireland must be registered with CORU. The register can be viewed on the CORU website and the public can see if their practitioner is registered or not, giving some peace of mind as to the quality of the treatment they are receiving.
So, what should you expect when you attend a chartered physiotherapist for assessment? This is actually a very easy question to answer.
- You should expect to be seen on time, in a clean, suitable, quiet and private environment where your confidentiality is respected.
- You should be seen by a professionally presented physiotherapist who introduces themselves to you and has their CORU registration on display.
- You should be listened to without interruption and a clear understanding of your problem, it’s effect on your life and your own thoughts on it’s cause should be established before any therapy is commenced.
- You should be given an outline of the assessment process that is to take place before it begins, including any disrobing that may be required to facilitate it, and you should be asked for your consent for assessment to go ahead if you so wish.
- If you are being given exercises to do when you go home they should be clearly explained and you should have accurate guidelines on how much you should do and how often you should do them.
- You should have a line of communication to your physiotherapist between sessions should you have any difficulty or questions.
You need to have the following questions addressed in your visit.
- What is the problem?
- How long will it take to get better?
- What can I (as the patient) do to help this?
- What can you (the therapist) do to help this?
- What is the expected outcome (goal) of physiotherapy?
An accurate answer may not be possible to the first two questions on the initial visit and a good therapist will have no problem admitting that to you if that is the case, but every effort should be made to seek the answers. Sometimes this will require subsequent visits to physiotherapy. Sometimes this will require onward referral.
The physiotherapist and the patient should work together in a collaborative approach to achieve the best outcome through a jointly planned process with a structured beginning, an agreed end goal from the outset and intermediary goals along the way to facilitate achieving this. A treatment approach should be re-evaluated if progress cannot be identified.
The treatment you receive from a chartered physiotherapist will vary widely depending on the training and treatment approach of that therapist. Treatment will usually, but not always, involve some level of hands-on work and always sone work to be done yourself at home in the form of exercise, activity modification or interventions to help your pain. Treatment will be individualised to you, your problem, your lifestyle and your goals, so no two approaches will be the same as, no patient is the same and no two problems are the same.
At SportsPlus we pride ourselves on being CORU registered physiotherapists and hold ourselves to the highest standards of practice. We are continually learning and seeking to improve both ourselves and our service to the people that put their trust in us.
If you wish to see what we are about or if you wish to explore an issue you may have with us please feel free to give us a call on 067-42837 or e-mail us on email@example.com.