resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
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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