Alphabet Soup: Does My Therapist’s Credentials Matter? Short answer, it depends.
When patients are seeking care for their own injuries or functional limitations, they want to seek out the best clinician that will help guide them throughout their rehabilitation process. When choosing the right practitioner to help us, patients want to ensure their clinician is competent, skilled, and will be a great fit.
Letters after a practitioner’s name may give patients more reassurance, knowing their healthcare provider is highly qualified at what they do. However, is this the only thing we should be looking at? Or are there some other things we should consider?
Certifications, continuing education courses, and post-graduate programs are all great to help improve clinician reasoning and guidance with the course of care. They provide more insight into how to manage the care of an individual with specific impairments and functional limitations. Clinicians pursue these educational offerings as they are self-directed learners and want to improve their own capabilities to provide a high level of care.
But there are other things to consider when choosing the right practitioner to handle your care.
Patients want a healthcare professional who is:
I believe it is important to make sure belief systems, values, and expectations are heard from the patient, so the therapist can better understand what the patient is experiencing. The episode of care should be a collaborative effort and utilizing shared decision making throughout the process.
The clinician needs to know how to utilize their own credentials to help manage the patient’s current situation. Sometimes as clinicians, we can get lost in our own alphabet soup. So, then we must ask ourselves, why am I earning these credentials, but more importantly, who are they for? Are they for myself, or the patient?
Yes, credentials are important, but maybe there is more patients need for a successful outcomes.
Article Written By Eric Trauber, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS, FAAOMPT