Now that you have established a foundation and began the application of medical exercise training skills, the next step along the Medical Exercise Specialist Career Success Path is MANAGEMENT. Do you have the ability to take the knowledge gained in the foundation stage and the application of skills developed in the application phase to now produce positive functional outcomes for your clients?
This is the stage where now you determine if you can deliver on your promises to clients!! In this stage you know have to focus on “functional outcome measures” (FOMs). These are universal measures understood by both medical and fitness professionals which allow the determination if the exercise program is effective in managing the client’s medical condition(s). If the FOM improves, the exercise is effective. If not, steps should be taken to adjust the exercise program. This now allows medical exercise professionals to begin to managing conditons more effectively. Functional outcome measures include: 1) blood pressure; 2) bone density; 3) heart rate; 4) range of motion; 5) muscle testing; 5) cholesterol levels; 6) functional assessment scales; 7) BMI; and 8) A1c, etc.
Measuring program effectiveness with FOMs is essential in communication with medical professionals and eventually…..insurance carriers. Proper MET management also requires appropriate documentation of MET sessions and outcomes as well as communication with medical professionals via progress reports and assessment/discharge summaries. Yes, many of these are also done in medicine. If we want to establish referral relationships with medical professionals and manage their clients, we must document and communicate as they do. These reports are important in staying in the loop with the physician, therapist or chiropractor regarding their patient’s management.
The MANAGEMENT stage sees the medical exercise professional beginning to find and use medical research to manage his or her clients and support the MET programs they develop. At this point, the medical exercise professional must look beyond the articles in fitness magazines or the presentations at fitness conventions to venues offering presentations, research and information coming from the medical community or its providers. To transition to MET requires stepping away from fitness education into medical education as well applying fitness techniques and concepts to medical conditions.
As mentioned in the previous stage, “case conferencing” is important in the MANAGEMENT phase. As you become more effective at managing clients, sharing your strategies and outcomes with other medical exercise professionals as well as medical providers is important. This sharing allows you to acquire a wider range of understanding and expertise, while sharing your outcomes and expertise with other professionals. Case conferencing is standard in many professions such as law, medicine, engineering and law enforcement. In a later post, I will discuss how we instituted case conferencing at Medical Fitness Pros of Katy, TX.
Finally, in the MANAGEMENT stage there is a realization its not about the exercise……its about the outcome. Yes, exercise is just like a pill. Its given to obtain an outcome. The dosage is adjusted to obtain the maximal possible outcome. The medical exercise professional also realizes in this stage……its not about the sets, reps or specific exercise….its about the strategy, the sequence, the assessment and analyze of what the exercise is doing and how its impacting the condition. Its not just throwing exercises at the condition(s), its knowing when, how, how much and in what sequence and then documenting that, sharing it will other medical exercise professionals and eventually establishing universally accepted standardized protocols for medical exercise management of medical conditions.
As you can see, MANAGEMENT, is the most important stage along with Medical Exercise Specialist Career Success Path. Not every medical exercise professional gets to this stage or masters it. Please subscribe to our blog to read the next post in Medical Exercise Specialist Career Success Path series.