ARCHIVED: Appendix E: Handbook on Sensitive Practice for Health Care Practitioners: Lessons from Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse – Sample introduction to a facility


Appendix E: Sample Introduction to a Facility

Survivors pointed out that they are unfamiliar with the scope of practice for many health care practitioners and much of what is involved in examination and treatment. The following is an information sheet for new patients developed by survivors and clinicians to provide an understandable introduction to an out-patient physical therapy facility. Health care providers are encouraged to work with patients to develop introductions to their practice and facilities similar to this physical therapy example.

Suggestions for clients at out-patient physical therapy facilities

“Welcome to physical therapy! We are glad to work with you. Physical therapy will include an assessment and treatment by the physical therapist. Direct and open communication between the client and the therapist is important. Below is a list of suggestions that may help you at physical therapy. ”

You have the right to choose a male or female physical therapist.

  • If you know this is important for you, please tell us when you book your first appointment.
  • If you decide later in treatment that you would rather work with a therapist of a different gender, you may tell us then too.
  • If we are unable to book you with your choice of a male or female therapist, we may refer you to a facility that can.

You can choose to have someone accompany you during your physical therapy appointments.

This person can be:

  • a family member or friend.
  • a staff member from the clinic.

Physical therapy works best when you and your therapist work as a team.

For example, your physical therapist will explain your treatment to you. Please tell your physical therapist if:

  • you are not comfortable with the treatment.
  • you do not understand the treatment or language your therapist is using.
  • you do not agree with the treatment.

Also, physical therapy works best when you talk to your physical therapist about how the treatment is working (or not working!) for you. The more you are able to tell your physical therapist, the better he or she will be able to help you.

We will do our best to ensure your privacy.

  • Your physical therapist may need you to wear a gown for some treatments. If you would prefer to bring loose fitting clothing from home, please tell your physical therapist.
  • In some cases it is necessary to change your clothing for your treatment: you will have privacy to change your clothing.
  • Please tell us if you would like the curtains drawn around your treatment table during any part of treatment.

Physical therapy involves touch and movement of your body.

Tell your physical therapist if:

  • certain parts of your body are sensitive to touch or movement.
  • you are nervous about touch.
  • there is something your physical therapist can do to make you more comfortable.

You have the right to stop treatment at any time, during or after a session.

Reasons people might stop treatment may include:

  • discomfort during treatment.
  • deciding to try a different type of medical care.

“If you decide to try a different type of care, your physical therapist may be able to give you the name of someone she or he thinks can help you. ”

Above all, we want you to notice an improvement in your health.

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