Deprived of their practice for weeks due to the constraints imposed by physical distancing, acupuncturists, osteopaths, massage therapists, physiotherapists and chiropractors can finally intervene with their patients, since June 1. Can we get the same care from them safely?
They have touch in common, an essential contact for their care and which implies close proximity to the client. All had their services suspended during the state of health emergency, except for medical emergencies in the case of acupuncturists, physiotherapists and chiropractors. Since June 1, these physical health therapists have returned to clinics, but not as before. They are provided with visors or protective glasses, masks and sometimes gloves, which they now provide their care.
The appointments are now spaced to allow the cleaning and disinfection of the equipment, as well as places, between each client, and staggered to prevent clients from crossing paths, explains Benoît Minguy, osteopath at the ÔSanté clinic which also offers acupuncture and massage therapy services. From now on, they are greeted directly at the door.
The same conditions apply to all physical health therapists working in services considered non-essential. “Hand washing was already done for us. What changes is that we must now change our clothes, our blouses or our coats between each client. You also have to wash glasses or visors, change masks… ”, he says. On Tuesday, the INSPQ changed its directives, however: it is no longer necessary to change clothes and tracksuits between patients, but rather to take them off and wash them at the end of the day.
All these measures are part of and accompany the new interim protocol recommended by the National Institute of Public Health (INSPQ) and the Commission des normes, de l’assurance, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST). others, depending on the discipline. Obviously, thorough washing of hands and forearms is compulsory for everyone, before and after treatment. The same is required of the client, who is also required to wear the mask during treatment.
The resumption of activities is done slowly on the side of Nathalie Gagnon, who manages her small acupuncture clinic focused on obstetrics and fertility care. His practice stopped abruptly in March, since his clients require little emergency intervention as defined by the INSPQ, unlike the clientele of other acupuncturists. “The phone starts ringing again, which I welcome as good news after I feared a return in the fall. I admit that I wondered how I would manage to pay my rent. ”
New hygienic conditions make little difference to treatments, she said. The Quebec Order of Acupuncturists recommends that facial stitches – those that require removal of the mask – be performed only if they are essential for treatment. The client must then remain silent.
On the logistics side, things look more complicated. With the spacing of appointments, according to the new health measures imposed, Nathalie Gagnon will have to work longer hours to manage to treat the same number of patients as before COVID-19.