Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Ethics of Professional Practice

Client-centered care
It is all about the clients, they are the ones that bring in the money to your business so you have to make sure that they are well looked after and are happy with your services because you want them to return. It is the little things that matter like being polite and welcoming and showing respect when consulting them at the start, to find out their goals for the session. If they are religions or have beliefs then respect that. The main focus for client care is to make sure the client feels comfortable in the environment.

Informed consent
This is the information that we get the client to fill out and sign before the treatment. So we have an understanding of their medical history and it is also to cover our selves if something goes wrong. The information on the forms has contact numbers and will also show me if there is a high risk of anything happening or places I should be aware of during the treatment. Also in this part of the professional practice we will inform the client about clinical procedures, payment terms, and if they need to be referred to another clinic, what procedures are in place for the transfer. Then an explanation of our records and assessment are given, the security of their information and the after affects that may occur after the massage (McQuillan, D, 2009). After all of this the client or the therapist has the right of refusal if they do not feel safe or do not want to risk injury.

Scope of practices
“Scope of Practice” is a terminology used by state licensing boards for various professions that defines the procedures, actions, and processes that are permitted for the licensed individual” (Scope of practices,2009). This means to run an ethical profession you have to be a licensed massage therapist and have knowledge in what type of massage you are doing on your clients. If you are just a relaxation massage practitioner then you stick to soft tissue and stress release and pleasure (notes). If a fully trained massage therapist you can do relaxation and pain relief and injury management (McQuillan, D, 2009). In your clinic you should show some where what you’re qualified to do and ensure the client that what you are doing is under the New Zealand massage code of ethics (McQuillan, D, 2009). If you do not have the qualification to do a type of massage you may harm or injure your clients and you will not last long as a massage therapist as OSH will be making a visit to your massage practice.

“The ethical principle of confidentiality requires that information shared by the client with the therapist in the course of treatment is not shared with others” (Confidentiality, 2009). This is important among client and therapist because it builds trust and they will return. The only time that a clients information can be given to another medical profession is when you have written consent from the client them selves stating that they give permission to give that medical profession their information. With keeping this information safe and away form other people is a filing cabinet that has a lock on it. If it is saved on computer make sure I have a password to lock the computer and keep others out from seeing it. When in public a therapist should not greet client unless client greets them first (McQuillan, D, 2009).

This is a big thing in the profession of massage as the client has faith in you as they are lying on the table with very little clothes on. When learning massage strokes you learn the ethics of what parts of the body you are allowed to massage and where to stay away form. Draping, if done correctly all out of bounded areas should not be exposed allowing the client to feel comfortable. Boundaries with the client is keeping your emotional distance and clarifying your role, responsibilities, expectation and limitations to ensure your safety as well.

Power differentials
“In theory and ethical practice, the power differential exists for the purpose of bringing benefit to these more vulnerable individuals” (Power differentials, 2009). Power differentials is where once the client is in your room you make them feel that you have control of what you are about to do, giving them confidence as they are laying there with very little clothes on. Same again if draping is done correctly patient should feel comfortable.

In the ethics of the massage practices we must keep our boundaries between client and therapist and try not to get involved in a relationship. If you do start to have a relationship with a client we need to make sure you refer them on and stop their treatment straight away. The relationship that we want to make with our clients is trust and making sure they are happy with the treatment we are giving them. We want them to return.

Signs of transference are clients who start to rely on you, not only as their therapist. They become your friend as they began to gain your trust and this my lead to things such as them asking questions about your personal life, asking for advice about their personal life, bringing you gifts and ringing you after hours (Salvo, 2007). Those are just a few but they are what we as therapists need to look out for to ensure we do not cross any boundary.

These are the issues that we bring into the clinic from our personal life. This is where a councilor is good as they are the person you can let out all your feelings to whether they are personal or work related. Signs we need to look for are becoming depressed if clients can not make it, getting argumentative with a client, making excuses for inappropriate behaviour (Salvo, 2007). Those are just a few but counter-transference is something we as therapist do not want to get our selves into as it could jeopardize our career and future in the massage industry.

Wikipedia. (20, Feb, 2009). Scope of Practice. Retrieved May, 11th, 2009, From, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scope_of_practice

Wikipedis. (3, May, 2009). Confidentiality. Retrieved May, 11th, 2009, From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confidentiality

Massage today. (2009). Power Differential. Retrieved May 11th, 2009, From http://www.massagetoday.com/mpacms/mt/article.php?id=10872

Class notes. (2009). Fundamentals of massage, ethics. Retrieved May, 11th, 2009, From David McQuillan class lecturer.

Salvo, S. (2007).Massage therapy. Principles and practice (3rd ed.). Missouri: Saunders.

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