I wanted to share this article with you about collaboration between trainers and physical therapists. It was recently put up by Mike Reinold and Jonathan Goodman. This topic is very important to think about as we continue to evolve as a profession. Unfortunately, there is still a disconnect between health care professionals. Why is this?
Reinold put it best: "Medical departments in the sports world now consist of a team of multidisciplined physicians, athletic trainers, physical therapists, strength coaches, massage therapists, and other health care professionals." It works well for the sports world and it should work outside the professional sports. While trainers and physical therapists may disagree with certain points of this article, specifically the assessment component for example, what Mike and Jonathan are trying to say is that we can all work together to help each other and the clients/patients. Yes, certain health care professionals scope of practice may overlap at times, but instead of fighting about it we can play to our strengths.
This is not just about the patients/clients care. It is a multidimensional communication issue. Physical therapists need to think about the business side as well. With reimbursements continuing to get smaller while we continue to push for direct access, wouldn't more referrals from trainers, massage therapists, etc be great? In the same thought, wouldn't it be great to be able to refer our patients to another health care professional to ensure they continue to stay healthy and pain-free?
Physical therapists and trainers have great opportunities to collaborate with each other to not only learn from one another but refer to each other for the best possible care for the client. After all, isn't that what being a health care professional is all about?
Mike and Jonathan have already begun to recieve comments, both good and bad, regarding the article. We don't live in an ideal world and there will be arguements both ways. So I ask:
Is collaboration between trainers and PT's possible?
What barrier's do you see preventing healthy collaboration between trainers and physical therapists?
What needs to be done between professions to encourage more collaboration between trainers and therapists?