Friday, October 14, 2011

Who is Treating You?

Great email questions and comments. Thank you.

Credentialing. Yes. I have been told so many things about the letters behind a health care provider’s name. I use to just use PT (physical therapist) but then was told to honor my Doctor (DPT). Then to display all my credentials only to hear “what does that mean?” and “too many letters”.

Some therapists I know have expressed that all those letters are just to boast. Guess I never thought of it that way and it never bothered me. I knew their training; I knew my training, and how we both practiced. So why do those letters matter?

It matters because regardless of the letters, or how many, the consumer needs to know who is providing their treatment. I would rather have someone ask me what ACE (American Council on Exercise) means, rather than not to ask any questions about my experience. It has become the time in which the consumer (patient) needs to educate themselves on their healthcare and choice of treatment. At least ask. I enjoy that part of my practice. Talking. Discussing. Educating. Teaching.

Here is our governing organization’s, American Physical Therapy Association, policy regarding our designations:

The first letter’s should be the health care providers license to practice in their given State, and most important, regardless of their training.  Using PT is the regulatory designation of a physical therapy. PTA the preferred designation of a physical therapist assistant.

  1. PT/PTA
  2. Highest earned physical therapy-related degree
  3. Other earned academic degree(s)
  4. Specialist certification credentials in alphabetical order (specific to the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties)
  5. Other credentials external to APTA
  6. Other certifications or professional honors

Thank you again for all your questions and comments.  Accessed by Cheryl Lynn Rudd on October 14, 2011.  Accessed by Cheryl Lynn Rudd on October 14, 2011.

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