You may be aware that the Podiatry Board of Australia put out a new Code of Conduct this year. It contains advice on a range of issues, including professional boundaries and how to end a professional relationship.
Here are some excerpts to bear in mind.
According to Section 4.1 in the Code of Conduct, informed consent is “a person’s voluntary decision about healthcare that is made with knowledge and understanding of the benefits and risks involved”.
The Code goes onto say that, Good practice includes that you:
Section 4.7 of the Code has the following to say: In some circumstances, the relationship between a practitioner and a patient may become ineffective or compromised and may need to end. Good practice involves ensuring that the patient is informed adequately of your decision to end the relationship and facilitating arrangements for the continuing care of the patient, including passing on relevant clinical information.
Section 4.8 of the Code emphasises the importance of note taking and getting appropriate consent when it comes to providing care to those in a close personal relationship. It says:
Good practice includes recognising the potential conflicts, risks and complexities of providing care to those in a close personal relationship. Providing care to anyone you have a close personal relationship with, for example close friends, work colleagues and family members, can be inappropriate because of the lack of objectivity, possible discontinuity of care and risks to the practitioner or patient.
If circumstances require you to provide care to someone in a close relationship, for example in an emergency, good practice requires that you:
Likewise, the Code has the following to say on professional boundaries, in section 4.9:
Professional boundaries allow you and your patient to engage safely and effectively in a therapeutic relationship. Professional boundaries mean the clear separation that should exist between professional conduct aimed at meeting the health needs of patients and your own personal views, feelings and relationships which are not relevant to the therapeutic relationship.
Professional boundaries are integral to a good practitioner–patient relationship. They promote good care for patients and protect both parties.
Good practice includes that you:
You need to be aware of and comply with any guidelines of your National Board in relation to professional boundaries.
To read the Code of Conduct in full head to Ahpra’s Code of conduct web page. To discuss any related issues, speak to a qualified HR team member on 1300 620 641 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
© Copyright 2021 The Australian Podiatry Association