Client vs. Patient discussion

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elsewhere
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Client vs. Patient discussion

Post by elsewhere » Mon Jul 30, 2007 11:47 pm

This topic has been split from the original topic "Im thinking about becoming a MT,its a good job for males????" due to the change of subject affecting the previous post. It has been left in this catagory due to where it was originated. PG


Seriously, you may want to reconsider whether or not you want to call your massage clients "patients." At least among other MT's. I don't know of any other MT's who use that term and there's a reason for that.

It's just wrong on so many levels.

StressSolutions

Post by StressSolutions » Tue Jul 31, 2007 3:06 am

elsewhere wrote:Seriously, you may want to reconsider whether or not you want to call your massage clients "patients." At least among other MT's. I don't know of any other MT's who use that term and there's a reason for that.

It's just wrong on so many levels.
I agree, and for a while I was part of an email group that started calling these fine folk "clatients". I really dislike that one.

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Post by fudja / aka Greatlakes » Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:15 am

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Last edited by fudja / aka Greatlakes on Sat Aug 18, 2007 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Breathe » Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:40 am

Pete wrote:
I have to disagree here. I have a busy practice with both clients (self-referring) and patients (doctor referred). I use both terms to differentiate the two groups.
I agree Pete. The difference is, the self-referred are MY clients, while the doctor-referred are the doctor's patients. Even my "medical" massage website, in the FAQ for docs says "your patient."

"Patient" is tricky terminology. It implies that we are something more than we are, which is adjunct therapy. We are NOT medical practitioners, we do not practice medicine. Though our work has therapeutic and health benefits, we carefully refrain from making a formal diagnosis, and we work on "patients" under some sort of indirect supervision.

I'm not even crazy about the terminology "medical massage." I prefer "outcome-based" or "clinical", though occasionally use "medical massage" because it is in common use, and understandable.

My SOAP documentation for insurance work uses the term "client" rather than "patient." When the insurance companies call me to ask about client condition and medical stability, I tell them: "This client was referred to me for treatment of spasms and soft-tissue injury. The current status is written on the latest SOAP, you can see that range of motion is moderately reduced and X, Y and Z muscles are moderately hypertonic.

Massage therapists can not legally determine medical stability, nor can they provide the diagnosis. This person is a patient of Dr. So-and-So, and he can provide that information."

This also had the added benefit of circumventing accusations of "overtreating." If the Doctor says his patient still needs treatment, well, I'm just doing what the doctor told me to do.
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elsewhere
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Post by elsewhere » Tue Jul 31, 2007 1:34 pm

Nicely put "muscle squisher." When I hear an MT use the terminology "patient" especially as Jason had done so in his post (which did not indicate any "medical" basis for it but rather his default term of choice) I cringe:
JasonE wrote:Marketing will get them in the door, but ultimately your skill and professionalism will determine how many of them stay with you and send more patients your way.
We're not "doctors", we don't practice "medicine." Why confuse the public. It comes off as a need for validation when the truth is we don't need to use such terminology to do that. I would suspect that those who do use that term are in the minority. Did any massage school teachers any of you have studied under use that term? Ever wonder why that is? I've never met one that did, not one. Even if you're pushing for massage "legislation" it still doesn't change the dynamic of the client/massage therapist relationship.

You want to have "patients" go to med school for 12 years. They've earned the right to use that terminology, it's their term for their gig.

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Post by moogie » Tue Jul 31, 2007 5:48 pm

While I personally use the term client, it doesn't bother me if other massage therapists use the term patient in their practice.

I think we all need to remember that we all come from a variety of places. Some of those places require much more training than others (Ontario comes to mind as an area that has a much greater educational requirement than other places) and some states (or provinces) consider massage therapists to be part of the medical health section. Here in Florida we are licensed and regulated by the same agency as doctors, nurses etc.....

And...many other health care workers other than doctors use the term patient. Nurses, PTAs, Techs in fields such as radiology, sonography and so on. Many of those only have a 2 yr degree. When they refer to the person in their care, they call them the patient, not the client.

If a therapist has a practice that is more "medical" (or clinical or rehabilitative or whatever term they prefer) and primarily deals with insurance companies and doctors, then I could see why they are more comfortable using the term patient.

To each his own............................

Angie

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Post by JasonE » Wed Aug 01, 2007 8:33 pm

elsewhere wrote:Did any massage school teachers any of you have studied under use that term? Ever wonder why that is? I've never met one that did, not one. Even if you're pushing for massage "legislation" it still doesn't change the dynamic of the client/massage therapist relationship.
"elsewhere" - Yes, several of my instructors used that term, and in very specific contexts which I have adopted. When doctors, physical therapists, etc. refer their patients to me, I refer to them as patients. Others fall under the term of clients. You have made too much of a single use of terminology, and incorrectly assumed too much.

My appreciation to "Breathe", "Pete" and "GrateLakes" for their contributions.
Jason Erickson, NCTMB, ACE-CPT, AIS-TA
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Internet forums are like going to the zoo; if you get enough monkeys together, sooner or later someone will start throwing their poo.

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Post by elsewhere » Wed Aug 01, 2007 9:52 pm

JasonE wrote: You have made too much of a single use of terminology, and incorrectly assumed too much.
No I didn't. I didn't assume anything. I stated an opinion I believed in based on observing your frequent use of the word "patient." "Breathe" and Mick agreed with me, Pete didn't. Hardly a consensus for either of us. I quoted you twice using that term as your default terminology and not in reference to any "medical" referral. I find this kind of an unusual new twist in the massage profession and worth commenting on. Personally I find it unwarranted and have my opinions about where it's coming from. That said I don't think it's a big deal nor do I think it will catch on.
Last edited by elsewhere on Wed Aug 01, 2007 11:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Breathe » Wed Aug 01, 2007 10:09 pm

elsewhere wrote: "Breathe" agreed with me,
I just wanted to quote this, because once again JasonE, it seems that you are deliberately misunderstanding me.

Just to be crystal clear: The people who see me for massage are not my patients, no matter how they find me. In my opinion, use of the term "patient" sets MTs up for responsibilities and liabilities that we are not trained to assume.
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Post by pueppi » Thu Aug 02, 2007 6:53 am

If a person comes in for chiropractic care or medical care, they are a patient. If they come in for massage work they are a client.

That's in my world. :)

Sometimes you will have a dually licensed practitioner - Susie Q. Johnson DC, MT / Susie Q. Johnson MD, MT and people with these credentials will sometimes crossover with the wording "patient" or "client". But as a rule the two stay seperated depending on what type of treatment/work they are recieving.
Breathe wrote: In my opinion, use of the term "patient" sets MTs up for responsibilities and liabilities that we are not trained to assume.
I agree with this and this is why the dually licensed practitioners I know keep the terminology seperate in the office and also have seperate rooms for the type of treatment/work that is being performed. A doctor's room for the patients and a therapist room for the massage. They will take the patient/client to whichever room fits the need for that day.

Let's say the person coming in wants a massage AND a chiropractic adjustment. They will recieve a massage in the therapy room and the adjustment in the adjusting room. When the SOAP are charted the individual will be called client in one individual chart and patient in the other. The doctor+therapist supplying both segments of work will keep the deliniation obvious.
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elsewhere
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Post by elsewhere » Thu Aug 02, 2007 9:38 am

pueppi wrote:If a person comes in for chiropractic care or medical care, they are a patient. If they come in for massage work they are a client.

That's in my world. :)
It makes perfect sense to me. What alarms me in Jason's post is that he had teachers actually using that term. I've had dozens of great teachers for all types of modalities medical and otherwise and not once have I ever heard any of them refer to the people they worked on as "patients." It's too overbearing.

Next we'll have people teaching and doing massage in white lab coats.

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Post by JasonE » Thu Aug 02, 2007 11:07 pm

elsewhere wrote:Next we'll have people teaching and doing massage in white lab coats.
elsewhere - Perhaps you will be glad to know that the only white lab coats I saw worn during teaching were in all the cadaver labs we did. ;) Despite our differences, I respect your passion and caring for massage.

Breathe - Any misunderstandings on my part are purely UNintentional. Forums are not the best place to come to a perfect understanding of one another, though we make attempts. BTW - "elsewhere" quoted you as agreeing with them, not me. If you review the prior posts, you will see that I only thanked you for your contributions. :)
Jason Erickson, NCTMB, ACE-CPT, AIS-TA
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Post by Breathe » Fri Aug 03, 2007 8:30 am

I guess you see what you want to. In view of the "un" intentional misunderstanding of my inadequate communications :roll: , I'll try really hard not to think you have attempted to decontextualize my words in this thread and others to bolster your arguments.
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