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Speaker, "The Opioid Epidemic & Physical Therapy: Bridging the Gap between Your Patients' Fears and Your Legal & Ethical Obligations"

  • St. Charles, Illinois (map)

Event Host: Illinois Physical Therapy Association
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This course fills a gap between a physical therapist’s daily clinical experience of treating pain, and the ambiguous ethical and legal obligations imposed upon them as the country battles an opioid epidemic. Physical therapists are often ideally situated to learn about and counsel patients on responsible opioid usage, but many fear that such conversations fall outside of their scope of practice. Further, many pain patients are uncomfortable with the categorization of increased opioid use as an “epidemic,” fearing that their access to needed medications is at risk. This course will explore three primary topics: (1) a physical therapist’s legal and ethical obligations surrounding a patient’s opioid usage, (2) a pain patient’s fears about losing access to opioids, and (3) the implementation of clinical practices that are both sensitive to pain patients’ fears and ethically sound. This course will emphasize the components of a respectful, nonjudgmental patient-clinician conversation about opioids. Participants will develop a mindfulness of both their legal and ethical obligations, but also the conversations they have with patients in pain. We will explore the ways in which participants’ ethical obligations create opportunities for dialogue and support.