Modern Acupuncture Refresher Training Program for Physiotherapists – An Enhanced Training and Development Framework for Maintaining Professional Credentials

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Abstract Summary
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Authors (including presenting author) :
Chan ACM(1), Cheung SYK(2), Chao CYL(1), Chau DKW(1), Wan SPC(1), Ma BKM(1), Chan BB(1), Lau MHL(3), Chow ESL(3), Tsui ASK(4), Leung MSF(5), Mak GWT(6), Chau RMW(3), Poon MWY(4), Li CCM(2), Tsim RKM(5), Tang ECY(6)
Affiliation :
(1)Physiotherapy Department, Queen Elizabeth Hospital;
(2)Physiotherapy Department, Kwong Wah Hospital;
(3)Physiotherapy Department, Kowloon Hospital;
(4)Physiotherapy Department, Hong Kong Buddhist Hospital;
(5)Physiotherapy Department, Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital;
(6)Physiotherapy Department, Wong Tai Sin Hospital
Introduction :
Training is one of the important elements of staff management for ensuring the service quality and patient safety. Modern acupuncture is a treatment modality used by trained physiotherapists for managing different diseases and conditions. Physiotherapists had to successfully complete a recognized training course of 80 hours, 20% of which was practical and with the qualification vetted by an Accreditation Board and credentialing. The practice of modern acupuncture by physiotherapists was based on western medicine with evidence-based treatment protocols that supported by high quality clinical trials. To further promote staff competence and professional development for ensuring a safe and quality practice, a “Modern Acupuncture Refresher Training Program for Physiotherapists” was conducted at KCC for accredited physiotherapists after initial credentialing.
Objectives :
To audit staff compliances with reference to clinical guidelines on delivering modern acupuncture intervention and evaluate staff feedback on the usefulness of the refresher training program.
Methodology :
A workgroup that composed experienced physiotherapists from all the 6 hospitals at KCC was formed for organizing the training. The target participants were those physiotherapists who obtained acupuncture accreditation certification and credentials for practical training while theoretical training was opened for all physiotherapists. Five clinical conditions that involved largest patient volumes including stroke, back, neck, shoulder and knee conditions were selected for training and review on the updated treatment protocols based on recently published clinical trials from high indexed international journals. The workflow of the refresher training course consisted different stages of: (i) literature review and preparation of training materials on the 5 selected clinical conditions, (ii) revision of cluster-based standardized documentation form with updated treatment protocols pre-printed in the form, (iii) conduct theoretical in-service training on updated evidence-based practice, proposed mechanisms of action and proper infection control measures, (iv) conduct practical refreshment training sessions, (v) auditing for essential elements related to acupuncture intervention, (vi) feedback collection and program evaluation, and (vii) continue practice in daily clinical practice.
Result & Outcome :
Five theoretical and 16 practical skills training sessions were successfully conducted from Dec 17 to April 18. 136 physiotherapists from KCC participated in the practical skills training sessions of which 133 of them completed the post-training auditing and achieved 100% compliance rate for all the audited items. The auditing criteria were based on the requirement stipulated in the Standards of Practice of Acupuncture for Physiotherapists in Hong Kong issued by Hong Kong Physiotherapy Association in clinical reasoning, patient consent, preparation of equipment/patient, implementation procedures, and post-acupuncture management and documentation. For the post-training feedback collection, over 96% of the participants satisfied with the entire training course and answered agreed or strongly agreed for all the 13 questions. The use of modern acupuncture by physiotherapists was based on sufficient evidential support and monitored according to the scope of practice of guidelines on the maintenance of medical records, treatment protocol for physiotherapists. The present refresher training course promoted staff competence, performance and professional suitability for maintaining a safe and high quality acupuncture practice.

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