Physical Therapy Essay Examples

1595 Words 7 Pages
Clinically proven treatments, evidence based practice, and extensive research has equipped our society with detailed knowledge on how to treat and prevent ailments that plague American society. I originally pursued a career in physical therapy because it provides patients with noninvasive alternatives to increase physical health and well-being. My interest developed further after experiencing this field from the perspective of a patient and a physical therapy aide. I witnessed interactions that demonstrated the importance of cultural competence and effective communication skills. For these reasons, it is imperative that health care systems accept and communicate effectively within these foreign medical practices. Physical therapists should …show more content…
Communication is imperative when evaluating patients and determining how each individual will interpret and manage their pain, disability, or illness. Pain which is described as a “fifth vital sign,” must be adequately assessed and evaluated before interventions can be initiated. Western healthcare systems stress that pain should be kept a a minimum and physical comfort maximized. Conversely, other ethnocultural groups approach pain as a necessary life experience((Lantazzi & Purnell, 2006). Due to existing cultural discrepancies, physical therapist must be conscientious of facial expressions and gestures when providing treatment. The use of numerical and visual analogue pain scales can assist in establishing a patient’s current pain …show more content…
If permitted, therapists should actively communicate and inform families of progress and goals to further establish a strong support system. Mindfulness of temporal cultural views will assist in providing relatable goals and therapy timelines. Practitioners need to understand that communication is verbal or nonverbal and can be derived from body language and gestures. Although many cultural differences in health practices can be mediated through communication, physical therapists must adapt and maintain awareness so they do not unintentionally offend a patient or their family with a “harmless” gesture. Maintaining a respectful relationship is necessary for successful treatment and interventions. Knowledge of certain cultural views on gender relationships and personal space will dictate and change aspects of a patient’s therapy regimen. Some cultures do not allow contact between members of the opposite sex or removal or certain items of clothing (Lantazzi & Purnell, 2006). Therefore, detailed explanations of the therapy session and interventions is critical to avoid miscommunications. Overall, I chose physical therapy to provide disabled and injured individuals with the opportunity to increase mobility and enhance their physical health. I have learned that my acceptance and knowledge of other cultural practices will prove useful, and facilitate my future success in

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