During the quiet days of January, many acupuncturists began preparation for national registration of our profession in 2012. We’ll be more accountable, and more closely regulated than ever before. This is a good thing for public safety and for standards of care. Registration will elevate acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine to professional status, alongside doctors, dentists and other allied health professions. Unsurprisingly, national registration will increase practice costs to each practitioner. As the year progresses, we’ll need to pass some of these costs on to the people registration protects – our wonderful clients and patients.
Our aim is to keep fee increases modest and fair to you and to ourselves, and to tell you well in advance.
Visitors to Echidna Acupuncture and Natural Therapies will notice some additions to the clinic this year; hand-washing charts, more signage, hand sanitiser for visitors and medical-grade handwash solution. The clinic owner – Nikki Hunt – has done a great job ensuring the clinic is compliant with recent changes to Infection Control Management in Australia.
For clinic visitors, this means that we’re looking and sounding more like your GP’s surgery. We’ll be assessing folk for nasty contagious bugs, particularly in winter. People deemed potentially contagious may be advised to stay at home, to see their Doctors, or to come and see us, as long as they understand that wearing a surgical mask will be necessary for both patient and practitioner. If we feel you’re contagious, we’ll also be keeping you separate from other clinic visitors.
Our clinic is now stocked with an even wider range of infection control gear, including a spills kit and more plastic aprons than we can imagine might ever be necessary. Medical supplies – even in the smallest quantities – come in bulk!
Professional development and post-graduate learning are an ongoing process in our profession. Last year many acupuncturists exceeded the minimum ongoing professional development requirements expected of us by legislation, private health insurers, and our professional associations. My own learning and study included acquisition of specialist textbooks, participation in peer review meetings and online discussion groups, business planning, and attendance at a number of important seminars and skill updates, some of them presented by esteemed international specialists. I happily exceeded the minimum requirement, learnt plenty, and look forward to doing it all again in 2011. Those unpaid hours of professional development – usually on weekends and in the evenings – help us to do our best for each of you, and to stay current with the unique mix of science, tradition and wisdom which is Traditional Chinese Medicine in the 21st Century.
Red Door in Hanoi ©Margi Macdonald
Handsanitiser – not stated
Words ©Margi Macdonald