The use of social media by physical therapists (PTs), physical therapist assistants (PTAs), and students for professional, work, educational, and personal purposes creates opportunities to communicate in a public forum, and with that the potential for conflicts in patient/client management, APTA's House of Delegates said last week in adopting the new position Standards of Conduct in the Use of Social Media. To use social media productively and avoid these conflicts, the new position calls on PTs, PTAs, and students who engage in social media activities to demonstrate appropriate conduct in accordance with the Code of Ethics for the Physical Therapist and Standards of Ethical Conduct for the Physical Therapist Assistant. The standards also call for PTs, PTAs, and students who identify content that appears to be unprofessional to alert the colleague who posted it so that he or she can remove it or take other appropriate actions. Furthermore, the new position requires that PTs, PTAs, and students not misrepresent themselves, APTA or other organizations, educational institutions, clinical sites, or employers on social media. [RC-23]
Draft language adopted by the 2012 House will be available on the House Community next week. Final language for all actions taken by the June 2012 House will be available by September after the minutes have been approved.