The physiotherapist

Definition and role of the physiotherapist

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The physiotherapist 2017-12-14T14:32:36+00:00

A physiotherapist is a healthcare professional. After a long status-quo period since 1989, a major evolution comes in 2015 with a new definition of the profession.

Change of French Public Health Code

  • « Physiotherapy practice includes the promotion of Health, prevention, physiotherapy diagnosis and people recovery from movement or motor disorder as well as impairments and alteration of functional abilities. »
  • The physiotherapist « may also contribute to initial and continuing education, as well as to research » and « practices in full independence and full responsibility in accordance with legal provisions of the code of ethics » mentioned in Article L. 4321-21.
  • “In case of inherited, congenital or acquired, stabilized or progressive disorders involving an impairment of functional capacities, the physiotherapist uses manual, instrumental and educational means, and participates in their coordination”.
  • “In the exercise of his art, the physiotherapist is the one entitled to use teacher knowledges and education and rehabilitation know-hows in physiotherapy, he considers as the best suited to people-care and situation with legal provisions of the code of ethics.”
  • Words like : « of massage and medical gymnastics » are replaced by: « professional acts of physiotherapy including medical acts prescribed by a physician ».
  • “When acting for therapeutic purpose, the physiotherapist practices his art on medical prescription only and can adapt, unless otherwise instructed by the doctor, as part of a renewal, the initial medical prescriptions of physiotherapy acts dating from less than one year, under conditions defined by decree. He may prescribe, unless otherwise instructed by the physician, the necessary medical devices for the practice of his profession. The list of these medical devices is determined by order of the Ministries responsible for health and social security, after National Academy of Medicine has delivered its opinion. “
  • “In case of emergency and in the absence of a physician, the physiotherapist is authorized to perform the first acts of care necessary in physiotherapy. A report of the acts performed under these conditions will be delivered to the practitioner as soon as he is taking actions. “

Proposal from the Board of Physiotherapists

Physiotherapy is a science-based healthcare profession. It focuses on movement and activity for people of all ages. It promotes the maintenance or improvement of physical, mental and social health, disability management and the well-being of people. Physiotherapy interventions are part of health policies and participate in public health actions. Taking into account the activity of other health professions, physiotherapy puts the patient at the heart of its practice and aims to make him a co-author in the management of his functional abilities, his autonomy and his health.

Physiotherapist helps people of all ages through variety of specialisms in medicine: pediatrics, neurology, traumatology, rehabilitation of vestibular disorders, geriatrics, cardiac diseases and lung diseases, care of sportsmen, urogynecological rehabilitation, for example. The role of physiotherapists is of growing importance in the care and support of chronic diseases and consequently in the prevention and the therapeutic education.

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