‘Professional boundaries’ #Physiotalk on 2nd March 2015

This weeks host is @nakedphysio, who is hosting a chat about Professional boundaries. He is currently based in New Zealand – so a truly international #physiotalk is in prospect with some questions that might make us consider where we set our professional boundaries. Tweeting with professionalism is of course always expected during a #physiotalk!

Professional boundaries is a vast topic of discussion. It covers a multifaceted scope within clinical practice and pedagogy

@nakedpexperiential biashysio writes:

Our practice should be evidence based with sound clinical reasoning that is patient centred and not expert centred. Despite the large amount of empirical evidence out there experiential bias is still an issue with claims of ‘this is my way’ or ‘I just know’ and not considering the evidence. Despite the large amount of empirical evidence out there experiential bias is still an issue. It is worrying to see individuals that have no understanding of clinical reasoning or diagnostic skills being taught techniques that are either dated, dangerous or poorly evidenced. This results in poor healthcare provision that is not patient-centred, not evidence based and tarnishes professional standing and relationships

Snapshot 1 (12-Feb-15 11-40 AM)




Physiotherapy is an autonomous profession sharing clinical interests and expertise in many other medical and academic specialties.

  • Are we moving beyond our boundary of professional practice?
  • Do we have an egotistical approach to professional practice?
  • Is it permissive for other disciplines to adopt our scope of practice?

A further point to make -it is necessary to have a common ground in understanding professional practice respecting interprofessional collaboration and within profession collaboration. All too often there is difference of opinion that relates to philosophical beliefs and which is not evidence based. Pedagogy is the method and practice of teaching which is highly important in professional practice as it provides collaboration and understanding to all professions.

Professional boundaries also spreads into patient relationships, clinical relationships, and conflicts of interest intra and inter professionally. You only have to look on twitter to see physio’s voicing their thoughts about other clinicians. I have done it! Should this be allowed? Should we be encouraging this? Everyone is allowed to express their opinion but is it necessary to openly voice your thoughts in a contentious manner or should a level of tact be considered?”

Pre-chat questions

  • What do we understand by professional boundaries?
  • How is professional practice valuable for the growth of our profession?
  • As a profession do we think it is right to spread our boundaries into other clinical areas?
  • How does the current plurality of our professional scope effect interprofessional relationships?
  • How can we tackle issues around experiential bias?

Useful links

Host biography

I am a clinical physiotherapist with a special interest in the biology and humanistic aspects of persistent pain. I currently work in New Zealand in private practice mainly with persistent pain patients. I am also part of a team reforming pain services for ACC. Our aim is to streamline triage services with transparent procedures to provide continuity of care and facilitate patients back into the workforce.  Understanding and managing pain is not just about treating the biology of pain it involves a philosophical and dialogical analysis of understanding of pain expression and experience. This is significantly important when it comes to working in professional practice.

Post chat information

The chat was a fast and furious one this week – over 1 million impressions following the chat.

#PhysioTalk Participants

If you want to read all the tweets then click here for the transcript

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