Backstage Pass: So, What’s the College Really Like?

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Bryant Lam, PT Student—Clinical placement at the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario

Having spent the last five weeks at the College doing my final clinical placement, I was able to gain insight into processes that, as a physiotherapy student, most are not exposed to.

Going in I was aware (as I’m sure my peers are) of things like the complaints process and practice assessments when I thought about the College. Unfortunately these areas may give the College a less than positive feel right off the bat, without people truly understanding what these processes are all about and the role they play in our profession.

But, I’m here to tell you that my time at the College has drastically changed my outlook towards the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario.

What Did I Learn?

I got the chance to sit in on an Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC) meeting, and by reading countless practice assessments I’ve realized that the Committees and practice assessors are really looking to help physiotherapists to improve their practice, and ultimately improve patient care.

While sifting through the complaints cases, I noticed an interesting trend: a lack of communication, either verbal or written or both, was an integral reason for so very many of the complaints that come to the College from patients.

In all of these cases more emphasis on the communication aspect of patient care would have easily prevented the complaint from being filed.

This further solidified for me how important this one essential competency is for physiotherapists and health professionals alike—communication is paramount to ensuring patient satisfaction.

Another thing I’ve learned is that everyone at the College is really helpful and supportive. The organization and the staff genuinely want all physiotherapists to be successful, and there are resources and people you can connect with to make sure you’re practicing and meeting the Standards of our profession.

Being able to see the College from the inside has really opened my eyes to what the College has to offer and changed by perspective of my relationship with them.

I know I’ll be coming back to ask for any advice in my future practice as a physiotherapist, and you should too!

The Practice Advisor is just an email away—practiceadvice@collegept.org.