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Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
May, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 05
Malpractice Claims: Sexual Misconduct
By Dixie Wall, Contributing Editor
Sexual misconduct is not a new problem among health care practitioners. Hippocrates even added to his oath, "In every house where I come I will enter only for the good of my patients, keeping myself far from all intentional ill-doing and all seduction, and especially from the pleasures of love with women or men, be they free or slaves." In order to prevent this damaging conduct from happening to our clients and in our practices, we must maintain appropriate boundaries and develop open communication. It is our responsibility as the therapist to establish these boundaries, and shift them to the needs of the client.
Malpractice and/or liability claims are generally categorized into malpractice, criminal or civil. Malpractice includes acts of commission and acts of omission.1,2 Acts of commission are unintentional or intentional acts, performed by a therapist, that result in some type of harm to the client. Acts of omission is more common among primary health care physicians such as doctors, chiropractors or acupuncturists and involves a failure to refer clients out when indicated, or some type of missed problem in initial treatment of patient. Criminal suits are usually claims that involve some type of illegal implication and ramification for unprofessional illegal conduct. This month, we will further discuss these criminal acts but more specifically unprofessional sexual misconduct.
According to the Medical Council of New Zealand, sexual misconduct can be divided into three categories. The lowest level of misconduct is defined as "sexual impropriety." "This is nonphysical contact of a patient that is inappropriate jokes, crude gestures ... or demeaning comments about a patient's undergarments." The next level is "sexual transgression," which is defined as, "inappropriate touching of a patient stopping just short of an overt sexual act." This can include unnecessary contact with the breasts and inappropriate draping or lack thereof. The last and most severe is "sexual violation." This is defined as, "a sexual act between patient and doctor, there is no distinction between which party initiated the contact and whether the act was consensual." When any type of sexual misconduct takes place, the issue is no longer in the malpractice realm but becomes a criminal issue. These illegal acts are usually excluded in malpractice insurance policies.
Health care professionals are held to higher standards due to the hands-on nature of our field. The one-on-one time spent with clients creates a special personal connection between the client and therapist where the client may share personal information that would not be shared to other types of professionals. With the exception of the health care professionals, people would generally never allow another service provider to touch them. This immediately places us in a unique position of trust as separate and distinctive professionals. Unfortunately, according to the American Massage Council's claims history, sexual misconduct is the number one type of claim against massage therapists.
Sexual misconduct is not limited to sexual interaction with a client. It can be an inappropriate comment, flirtatious behavior, look or gift. This type of misconduct can harm the client in many ways and has major repercussions for us as practitioners. These repercussions may include damaged reputations, lawsuits, and ultimately losing our permits, licenses and practices. How can these issues be prevented? Most experts in practice management recommend setting adequate and appropriate boundaries.
Boundaries separate your personal space from the space of the client. Most boundaries are created by the client and maintained by the practitioner. The maintenance of these boundaries can help us maintain a thriving and professional practice. There are several types of boundaries set by in practice that can help us to prevent any misunderstandings or mistakes that could lead to sexual misconduct.
The first and most important when it comes to sexual impropriety claims are physical boundaries. What kind of touch will we accept from a client when greeting them? What type of draping techniques should we use? According to an administrator at a leading massage school in California, "draping is the number one complaint from clients receiving massage in their clinic." Massage therapists must make sure that the client is properly, consistently and conservatively draped. Always give the client sufficient time in private to change before and after the massage.
The next way to protect yourself is by maintaining verbal boundaries, keeping open all lines of communication with your client. Listen to your clients attentively and comfort them through a routine professional protocol in treatment procedures. When explaining your treatment plans for the client, make clear what you are going to do, explaining again what you are doing while doing it, and then telling the client what you just did. Set the language in conversation on the telephone in a professional level. Always avoid improper slang, language and gossip, and keep client's confidentiality a priority.
Lastly, a first impression is always made with visual boundaries. Our society is based on visual recognition and appearance. Create your own professionalism by consistently practicing routine procedures and retaining a standard dress code. Uniforms can create a comfortable atmosphere by setting a familiar tone. Keep your office clean and neat.
Through establishing, encouraging and enforcing these boundaries, you will promote your profession, as well as the safekeeping of yourself and your clients. Next time, we will discuss three additional boundaries that can help us succeed in practice.
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