When you see the phrase physical therapy core values, what do you think of? Perhaps it’s the level of professional values you encourage within your clinic or the personal values and ethical principles you train therapists and therapist assistants to follow. In reality, physical therapy core values encompass both of these things and more. Let’s take a look at core values in physical therapy.
As with any healthcare setting, professionalism goes a long way when working to build and maintain a quality PT practice. To support ongoing practice success and satisfaction—and retain top talent—physical therapists and physical therapist assistants must operate under one unified code of ethics and core values. This will serve as a set of standards a practice can continuously refer to in order to ensure consistent, high-quality care and patient satisfaction.Fortunately, theAmerican Physical Therapy Association(APTA) has established a code of ethics to support efficient patient care and protect a practice from legal complications. This physical therapy ethics code can help navigatecomplexdecision-makingand highlightthe best course of action to avoid dishonest or unprofessional patient interactions and better prepare for complicated or unusual interactions. The code can also strengthen the culture of a practice and better align staff for consistentstandards of practice.Adhering to these physical therapy ethics enables consistent professional behavior, which leads to a strong reputation, increased word-of-mouth referrals, and more frequent positive reviews. As part of the APTA code of ethics, PT practices must also understand physical therapy core values. Core values are the heart of PT professionalism and detail the components of a high-quality practice. Here are the seven physical therapy core values every practice should adopt.
A satisfactory and patient preferred physical therapist practice will always operate on a set collection of physical therapy core values. As with the physical therapy ethics code, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has also developed seven core values physical therapists, and physical therapist assistants are expected to comply with to encourage the highest quality of patient care.Let's break down each of the seven core values that should be at work in a practice setting.
The first core value PT professionals must adopt to achieve top-tier patient care is accountability. Accountability refers to how physical therapists and physical therapist assistants accept the ongoing responsibility of various roles, actions, and obligations within the practice. Taking responsibility for these various factors includes practicing self-regulation and other personal behaviors that can contribute to positive patient outcomes. Examples of taking responsibility in physical therapy include continuously improving patient care, following the physical therapy ethics code, and seeking and responding to patient feedback (negative and positive).
Altruism refers to an inherent concern for the happiness and well-being of others. As with any healthcare setting, physical therapy patients should always feel that their needs and satisfaction are a priority for the practice they visit. By practicing altruism, physical therapists and physical therapist assistants prioritize the devotion to patient interests and care over their personal interests. This includes designing treatment programs &interventionsthat will benefit each client’s individual needs.
Each and every physical therapy patient will present unique diagnosis and treatment needs. No matter what condition or situation your patient is going through, PTs and PTAs must always run a practice in a compassionate and caring manner. Practice professionals should always attempt to identify with patients and remain compassionate with their specific diagnosis and treatment needs. Maintain this caring energy by expressing empathy and consideration for the patient to ensure a sense of comfort while in your location.
No single successful physical therapy practice has gotten to where they are without practicing excellence. Excellence is a practice taken by physical therapists and therapist assistants to use their current skills and knowledge constantly while embracing ongoing professional development and patient perspective to create an exceptional patient experience. Over time, PT professionals are expected to keep up with changing industry best practices and accompanying tools to challenge mediocrity and demonstrate ongoing excellence to patients.
Whether you're discussing day-to-day life or physical therapy core values, failing to practice integrity can be one of the more harmful things you can do for your practice. Integrity refers to loyalty to high ethical standards and procedures, ensuring fairness, remaining honest, and following through on established commitments. A PT professional with high integrity will take responsibility for their actions in the workplace and carefully set boundaries on how they speak with both patients and coworkers to ensure universal practice positivity.
In theprofession ofphysical therapy, every employer and employee shares aprofessional dutyto the customers or patients they serve. As a PT or PTA, you have theprofessional duty to uphold a commitment to providing quality treatment services to clients and patients. With thousands of physical therapists and therapists assistants across the globe maintaining a professional responsibility, remember that it only takes one egregious event at a single practice to negatively impact the perception of PTs globally.
Social responsibility refers to an ethical obligation that requires PT providers to use their knowledge and services to create a beneficial change through advocacy. Both PTs and PTAs are socially contracted to improve the quality of health for everyone who walks through their doors. Sometimes, this results in providing physical therapy services beyond the expected standards, promoting the treatment of underrepresented and underserved populations, whether personally rendering pro-bono services to someone in need or mentoring the next generation of health care professionals. Patients must feel a mutual trust between themselves and PTs that the practice actively responds to their needs.
To obtain and maintain the status of a local leader, practices must adhere to physical therapy core values at all times. However, it can be challenging to ensure top-quality patient services and maintain an efficient clinic between piles of paperwork and evolving compliance needs. Resources from MWTherapy can help. From routinely updated physical therapy blogs to trusted practice management software, MWTherapy has what it takes to reach ultimate professionalism. Learn how MWTherapy can help your practice succeed when you book a demotoday.