Good news! Did you know that physiotherapists can now order X-rays? In fact, since May 2020, physiotherapists with proper certification can prescribe X-rays in the context of a recent musculoskeletal trauma. Thus, a patient with an acute traumatic injury that has occurred within the last 72 hours, may be evaluated by a physiotherapist to determine if radiographic investigations were indicated. Following his/her assessment, the physiotherapist can fill an X-ray prescription if the condition requires it.
This new professional activity for physiotherapists offers several advantages! First of all, it avoids long hours of waiting in the emergency room to see a doctor. Then, as X-ray results are sent directly to the physiotherapist, if they are negative, physiotherapy rehabilitation can start without delay. Thus injury rehabilitation is optimized by being more time efficient. If X-ray results are positive, the physiotherapist will then direct the patient towards appropriate medical care according to a previously established corridor of services.
Since the family physician is the practitioner who coordinates a patient’s various care plans, it is essential that all relevant information concerning the patient’s state of health be communicated to him/her. Thus the physiotherapist should inform the doctor if an X-ray prescription has been written for a patient. In addition, the physician should be kept informed of any radiographic results for the patient, regardless of what they are. The prescription of radiography by a physiotherapist must therefore be done in a spirit of interprofessional collaboration between doctors and physiotherapists.
Hopefully, you will never need to use this service, but if bad luck occurs and you think you may need an X-ray, don’t hesitate to see your physiotherapist!