Working with other Fitness Professionals

PT Magazine May 15


The ever developing role of a fitness professional has meant that it is more common for a personal trainer to work as part of a multidisciplinary team. This has arisen for a number of reasons, mainly as an increased importance has been placed on physical activity and nutrition in terms of the treatment of common conditions such as type II diabetes, hypertension, and obesity.

There are a wide range of professionals that a personal trainer may need to work with to ensure that their client receives the best possible service. Some of the professionals that a personal trainer may need to regularly communicate with may include doctors, nurses, dieticians, physiotherapists and anyone else who may be involved with the care of your client. These many be working as part of the NHS or in a private role, in some cases the trainer may be working as part of an established exercise referral scheme. However it is increasingly common for medical professionals to advise physical activity and the client to seek this support form an appropriately trained exercise specialist as a private client.

Ensuring an effective method and channel of communication can help to ensure that information regarding your clients is distributed to all the relevant parties involved in their care.   This normally starts with the establishment of clear definitions of what you as a fitness professional can do to help in the overall treatment plan of your client. Many times medical professionals under estimate the impact that we can have in achieving lasting behaviour change and reducing some of the risk factors associated with disease.

It is in turn important that you clearly understand the role that the other people in the team play in the overall care of the client. An effective and professional manner of communicating information across these different roles then needs to be established to ensure that information that is relevant is communicated appropriately. It is accepted that the linchpin of the care of a client is the GP, it is therefore most important that communication is regularly maintained with them to keep on record the action you have taken and the effect it has had.

This is normally achieved through the writing of regular update reports that detail the action taken with a client, so a brief outline of the training regime and advice you have given. This should then lead into information on the effect this has had on some of the clients key indicators or health.

The skill of communicating in a professional manner with those representing the medical profession will become increasingly common within the fitness industry. As this interprofessional communication increases as too will the mutual respect and understanding for the important role that each party plays in the treatment and reduction in risk factors associated with ill health.

Tom has been involved in the fitness industry for nearly 20 years. He is a specialist in rehabilitation, exercise referral and helping other fitness professionals to improve their business. He is also involved with course development, teaching, assessing and IQA of a range of training courses. He is always willing to meet other professionals so please do contact him via social media with any questions or just to say hello.

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