May 2020 Physiotherapy Board Newsletter
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A resilient response

Now we’ve been operating under Level 2 for a couple of weeks, we’d just like to say that practitioners’ response to the COVID lockdown has made us so very proud to be associated with the profession. Despite significant setbacks, you have been kind and supportive to each other, despite rules that have necessarily limited your ability to work freely, you have put the public health effort first. You are incredibly resilient and dedicated health professionals.
We’ll keep you updated on changes related to the COVID response through our COVID update emails. However, we thought it would be good to take a  brief step back from the pandemic and do a regular newsletter to touch on some of the other work we have done together as a profession that has helped build that community and resilience.

Janice Mueller (Chairperson)
Jeanette Woltman-Black (Chief Executive)

CPD audits on hold

We're progressing with the proposed changes on recertification and will have the decision out to you shortly. However we have cancelled CPD audits for 2020 because we understand that practitioners may not be able to accrue required CPD hours this year.

Responsible authorities

The Ministry of Health is currently seeking feedback on draft Terms of Reference and core standards for performance reviews of responsible authorities. As a responsible authority we’d like to encourage practitioners to make a submission. You can read the consultation document here and provide your feedback here.

Naming policy

A belated thank you to those who provided feedback on our Naming Policy consultation. This was signed off as policy in our February Board meeting. We’re required under the Act to have this policy in the event we need to issue a naming notice. You can read the full policy here

HPDT Decision - Ashley Stiven

The Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal has published its decision upholding a charge against Mr Ashley Stiven, a physiotherapist practising in Dunedin.

The charge related to ACC claims for treatment of people close to him. The full decision is available here. The Board's Treatment of whānau, family members and others close to you Standard is here.

Physiotherapy in depth

Gender Identity, Diversity and the use of pronouns

Gender identity refers to a sense of who you are. This may be the same or different from the sex you were assigned at birth. How one chooses to express their identity varies from person to person.
As with other issues of identity in healthcare, a lack of respect for a person’s identity and culture can lead to worse health outcomes. At its simplest, if people don’t feel respected they are less likely to seek treatment and, if they do, they are less likely to feel comfortable fully disclosing information that might be vital for the treatment.
The issue of gender identity can be complex and comes with a lot of cultural baggage. But there are some basic elements in play. When you are born, you are assigned a sex female, male or indeterminant by the appearance of your external genitalia.  You may feel this is correct (cisgender), or incorrect (transgender).
Gender diversity is a term which covers a wide range of possible gender identities, such as female, male, transgender, intersex, non-binary, takatāpui, fa’afafine, faa’atama to name a few.
A pronoun is a word that is used in place of a name.  For example, In the English language she, he. In the Māori language ia (she/he). Sometimes a person can be mis-gendered by a person whom has assumed pronoun that person uses. This is a common experience for people whom are non-gender conforming or transgender.
While “she/ her’ and ‘he/him” are the most common gender pronouns, there are others that are outside gender binary, including “they/them/ their”.
By using the correct pronoun when referring to a person, we are confirming and validating the gender expression and identity. This is an important aspect to being respectful and more inclusive in our communication styles with our patients.
A statement at the beginning of your conversation can be as simple as “Kia ora, my name is Maarama Waiora Davis and my personal pronoun is she/ her. What would you like to be called or known as?”.
This may be different to their legal name, which will need to be explained if funding is coming from a third-party insurer or for another reason you need the person’s legal identity.
Our job is to help people, and when we treat our patients with empathy, and with respect we do that job well.

Maarama Davis
Professional Advisor
Physiotherapy Board

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