Putting Your Safety As A Therapist First, working with the general public in Complementary Therapy can be wonderful. A good therapist is not only concerned for their client’s health and safety but also, for their own too.
Today, we are discussing the upmost importance of staying safe as a Complimentary Therapist. Whether the client is suffering from a condition that could be deemed as contagious, or whether you are therapist working from home – safety and security should always be in the forefront of your mind.
The most common solution to many problems, which many therapists forget, is the right of refusal. Under the Federation of Holistic Therapists code of ethics and practice, it states that FHT Members can “Refuse, discontinue or defer treatment, providing this is not on grounds of discrimination and their decision not to treat can be justified”
The two topics the FHT mention, that we will cover today are:
- “If the client is aggressive or violent, or poses a risk to the member or their staff”
- “If the client has withheld or not provided information relevant to the treatment”.
Now imagine, you are working in a Spa and a new client walks in requesting a treatment. They are aggressive in nature and unwilling to fill out a consultation form. What do you do? The simplest solution would be to refuse the treatment, as according FHT, the client has behaved in a way that would give the therapist the right to refusal.
Likewise, if a client did not mention in their consultation form that they had a contagious skin disease, the therapist has the right of refusal based on the grounds that the client did not disclose information that was needed prior to the treatment. As this would be a health and safety risk, the therapist would have to refuse to treat the client as a precaution. FHT requires therapists to maintain a safe and healthy working environment.
The second area that is often overlooked is the safety of therapists working alone – either on a self-employed basis or as a contracted worker. Safety and security is paramount in this situation, especially if there is nobody else on the premises to help in case of an accident or incident.
Many governing bodies have written articles listing guidelines that can be followed in order to protect a therapist working in isolation.
- On your booking form, ask the client how they found out about you and if they can list a name. If so, follow that up and get in touch with the client’s reference.
- Ask a friend or family member to pop in every now and again to check that everything is ok. If they are busy, have a “check in” system, where you text them before and after each treatment.
- Allow a friend or family member to have your treatment schedule for the day / week so that they know when you are practicing and where.
- Install security cameras in the waiting room etc. Cameras cannot be used in treatment areas – if this can be approved by your insurance company.
As complementary therapists, we are trained to keep our clients safe. Isn’t it time we also considered our own safety too and what we would do in an emergency / how we can lower our risk.