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Ethics for Physical and Occupational Therapy Professionals (2024)

presented by Ron Scott, PT, JD, EdD

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Target Audience:

Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Ron Scott receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Non-Financial: Ron Scott has no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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Video Runtime: 98 Minutes, Learning Assessments: 51 Minutes

This course overviews professional ethics relevant to PTs, PTAs, OTs, OTAs, and all other rehab professionals. Issues addressed include code of ethics principles and standards for PTs, PTAs, and occupational therapy professionals; core values; fiduciary duty to patients under care; the HIPAA and children rule; malpractice liability exposure and prevention; restrictive contractual covenants ("covenants not to compete"); and the modern blending of health law and professional ethics. The course content is applicable to physical and occupational therapists and assistants in all settings--clinical, educational, academic, home health, and research. Select case studies and clinical vignettes offer model solutions to problems posed. Salient focus topics addressing problem areas with correlation to APTA's and AOTA's Codes of Ethics are analyzed. Pre- and postcourse questions assess viewers' knowledge and learning.

Meet Your Instructor

Ron Scott, PT, JD, EdD

Dr. Scott is a health law attorney-mediator and educator. He is a faculty member at Rocky Mountain University, the University of Montana, Rehab Essentials, and MedBridge Inc. Dr. Scott's principal teaching interests include healthcare ethics, law, management, and policy. He developed two widely utilized health professional practice tools: the systems approach to ethical decision-making and…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Foundations of Professional Ethics and Ethicolegal Duties

This section focuses on the modern-day blending of health law and professional ethics, as reflected by the mutual obligations imposed by professional association codes of ethics and state practice acts. Discussion of fiduciary duty and patient access to care services is also included.

2. Patient Autonomy

This section begins with a review of the four fundamental biomedical ethical principles guiding physical therapy practice: respect for patient autonomy over care-related decision-making, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and justice. Discussion naturally flows into exploration of patient-informed consent and the special informed consent issues affecting minors, incapacitated, and minimally-conscious patients. The discussion concludes with the issue of conflicts of interest and how ethically to avoid them.

3. Codes of Ethics and Core Values

This section provides an overview of the Codes of Ethics and core values for physical and occupational therapy professionals. It also includes discussion of problem-prone areas in health professional ethics affecting rehabilitation professionals.

4. Hypothetical Cases

This chapter includes hypothetical case presentations with relevant questions, addressing professional licensure, patient confidentiality, “hostile work environment,” sexual harassment, and respect for professional colleagues. It concludes with a discussion of the interface of health professional ethics and politics in the 21st century.

5. Malpractice and Adverse Actions for Patient Injuries and Ethics Violations

This section overviews health care malpractice and its relationship to breaches of ethical duties owed to patients under care, venues for processing adverse legal and ethics actions, and special duties owed to third parties incident to patient intervention. Discussion of reporting statutes—for child/spouse/elder abuse and neglect and other indicators—ensues.

6. Contractual Restrictive Employment Covenants: Ethicolegal Issues

This section overviews restrictive contractual covenants that physical therapists may encounter. Covenants not to compete are explored in detail, along with a case exemplar. Recommendations for inclusion of a no-covenant-not-to-compete ethics provision in professional association codes of ethics are presented.

7. HIPAA and Children, End-of-Session Cases

This section discusses the special privacy and information disclosure duties incumbent upon rehab professionals. A summary end-of-session case exemplar is presented along with concluding comments.

8. Ethical Guidelines for PTs, PTAs, OTs, and OTAs

This chapter provides commentary on the APTA and AOTA's updated codes of ethics and guides for professional conduct.

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