Scope of practice for osteopaths

This report will discuss and evaluate the scope of practice for osteopath as a health professional group and how osteopath may be varied as future health care needs are considered. It will discuss a brief history of osteopath and the treatment they provided. It will evaluate what differnates it from other profession and how this differentiation made it important to the health profession. This report will discuss the qualifications needed to be an osteopath, the regulations, codes of conduct and guidelines needed to be followed within this profession.
Osteopathic medicine began in 1892 in the United States, found by Dr Andrew Taylor Still, an American physician. Osteopathic give a general approach to health and stresses in a person’s health and well-being. It is a drug free non ‘ invasive manual medicine that aims to give support to the body and the body’s self-healing capacity (Victoria State Government, 2015). Practice of osteopath began in the early twentieth century in various other countries, these countries include the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. In 1900 two graduates from the American School of Osteopathy named Edgar Culley and Florence McGeorge were the first to practice as osteopaths in Australia (Baer, 2009).
Osteopaths, Physiotherapists and chiropractors are similar but not the same profession, osteopath focuses on the concepts of the body parts and how the body works as a whole. Osteopaths boasts themselves on having a wide range of treatment options to provide patients with the appropriate amount of patient care needs. Osteopathic fundamental philosophy is to treat the patient rather than just their symptoms (Osteopathicinfo, 2015).
Osteopathic medicine is a noble profession that focuses on the relationship between musculoskeletal structure and organ functions (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2015). Osteopath aims to provide holistic care to the functions and structures of the body and to strengthen the total body, these included skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, circulation, connective tissues and internal organs (Osteopathy Australia, 2015). Osteopath can recognise the dysfunctions of the human body and uses the right combination of techniques to treat patients, techniques such as massages for general treatments of the soft tissues (ligaments, tendons, muscles) or specific joints, the aim of osteopath is to bring body back to a consistent whole (Healthtimes, 2015c).
Osteopath is the fastest developing allied health profession. At the last report of the National census, it was stated the number of osteopaths have triple from 1996 ‘ 2006. A national health survey conducted from 1995 ‘ 2005 by the Australia Bureau of Statistics, states the people who visited osteopath in the two weeks prior to the survey had increased by 88% to 60,000 (Burke, S. R., Myers, R., & Zhang, A. L. 2013). Indicated by the Australia Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) statistics presents a profession growth, from 2014-2015 shows that there is a 6.8% growth to this profession. Although there is still a small number of only 2000 registered osteopathy practitioners, osteopath is mainly a developing health care profession with most of the osteopaths aged group between 25-29, 30-34 and 35-39 (Healthtimes, 2015a).
Osteopathy requires a minimum of a five year degree, there are only a few universities in Australia that offer this course, and it is only available in Victoria and New South Wales (Healthtimes, 2015b). During this degree students there are required to finish a Bachelor of Science ‘ clinical science/ Master degree of health science ‘ osteopathy double degree. Students take on university training and studies such as anatomy, physiology, pathology, general medical diagnosis and osteopathic techniques and back and neck treatments. This profession is directly comparative, students are to incorporate its distinguishing principles and practices throughout the teaching of both undergraduate and graduate medical students. Student undertake the management of patient’s problems and have hands on experiences in settings such as hospitals and private health care professions (Norman. G., 2006).
Osteopath are required to follow code of conducts, standards and guidelines while practicing. Both the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and the National boards work together to implement the National Registration and Accreditation scheme. The core focus of National Boards and AHPRA is to protect the public. These codes of conducts and standards aim to assist and support practitioners to deliver the most effective and appropriate services within the principled framework (Osteopathy Board of Australia, 2014).
Most osteopath mainly work in leading health care settings, these health care settings include osteopathic or multi- disciplinary clinics or in association with general practitioners. Some osteopaths work in specialist pain management services, occupational health care settings or even elderly care facilities. Osteopath can provide their clinical knowledge to non- clinical settings such as researches, universities, healthcare management and health education (Australian Osteopathic Association, 2014).
Osteopath are required to continue professional development meaning the members of this profession are to maintain, improve and broaden their knowledge, expertise and competence. A continuous development on personal and professional qualities is required throughout their professional lives (Osteopathy Board of Australia, 2015). The vision of osteopath to keep improving itself is through providing patient cantered care meaning to identify, respect and care for their patients differences. Work in interdisciplinary teams meaning to cooperate with one another, communicate, collaborate and integrate care in teams to ensure that patient care is continuously improved and reliable. Using evidence based practiced to integrate best research with clinical expertise and to participate in learning and researching activities to intensity feasible. Osteopaths are required to keep applying quality improvement, they need to identify errors and hazards in care and to improve the quality of care within the community. Last but not least osteopaths are to utilise informatics communication, manage knowledge and support decision making using information technology (Howard. S. Teitelbaum. 2015).

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