As personal trainers gain more professional stature with the allied medical community, they will need to know how to collaborate better with physical therapists, medical doctors and others. Here are some tips:

  • Get additional training in working with special populations.
  • Learn healthcare terms, understand HIPAA, and know
    what constitutes public information, what constitutes personal information and what constitutes private information.
  • Learn about SOAP notes and practice taking them.
  • If you have enough staff resources, assign one employee
    to build relationships with the medical community.
  • Reach out to existing clients who are health professionals,
    and discuss referral programs or joint ventures such as
    seminars or workshops.
  • If you’re not training any health professionals, reach out
    to those who serve your clients. Introduce yourself as a resource and provide SOAP notes after gaining client approval.

To read more about how shifting roles, technology, expanding equipment options, competition and diverse client needs are shaping the fitness industry’s transformation, please see “The New Personal Trainer” in the online IDEA Library or in the April 2016 print issue of IDEA Fitness Journal. If you cannot access the full article and would like to, please contact the IDEA Inspired Service Team at (800) 999-4332, ext. 7.

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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