Protecting Yourself from Sexual Harassment Issues as a Solo PT

Protecting Yourself from Sexual Harassment Issues as a Solo PT

Today, I wanted to share an older video of mine regarding protecting yourself from sexual assault claims as a solo physical therapist.

This is a question that has been posed a few times in my Facebook groups, and I wanted to share my opinions on it.

For one, I understand the fear of someone trying to make a quick buck from you by claiming you touched them inappropriately. But in reality, I don’t think those false claims are happening all that much.

I think people understand physical therapy is more medical in nature than massage therapy, as massage has always had a sexual connotation attached to it. (For instance, when I lived in San Francisco, there were a lot of massage places not giving therapeutic massages.)

As a male massage therapist starting out, I had very little run-ins with this. My wife, as you can imagine, had plenty. Because of this sexual aspect, they teach you how to deal with it in massage therapy school. PT school doesn’t really do that, so here’s what you should know:

If you make sure you are touching your patients with a healing, therapeutic intention, it shouldn’t be a problem. If you’re a male doing pelvic floor treatments and are uncomfortable, that will come through to your patients.

If you absolutely feel the need to have another person in your clinic as a “chaperone” of sorts, feel free to. Just know to check in with yourself and your intention if you get one. Is there some patient interaction you are worried about?

Overall, be aware of your surroundings. Be aware of your where your body parts are in relation to your patient. Drape properly and set the expectation of what you will be treating on the patient.

When you’re comfortable, your patients will be too.



About The Author

Aaron LeBauer

Aaron LeBauer PT, DPT, LMBT started a 100% cash based physical therapy practice right after graduation. He's on a mission to save 100 million people from unnecessary surgery & enjoys helping passionate therapists build successful businesses without relying on insurance.

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