What is the Flag Course?
Hello, and welcome to the Identifying Flags in Complementary Health Care. This course is designed by Michelle Watson and Julian Baker, specifically to help complementary therapists to identify certain situations where more information or further action is needed.
Michelle has previously taught at Coventry University on the physiotherapy degree courses at both Bachelors and Masters level, and is passionate about hands on therapies and the benefits they bring to the public.
Julian Baker has been the director and principal instructor at the European College of Bowen Studies. Julian introduced Bowen to the UK in 1991 and has been a hands on therapist and teacher for over 25 years. He is an expert adviser to the Federation of Holistic Therapies and has sat on the executive committee of the British Complementary Medicine Association. A keen advocate of touch based therapy, Julian also encourages research and the use of appropriate language and limiting claims within the field of CM.
We hope you find this online course useful. Look out for more courses from ECBS in the near future.
So what does this mean to us as health professionals?
Flags relate to information that we discover about our clients, that set off warning bells in our heads. Doctors, nurses and all registered healthcare professionals are taught about “FLAGS” when dealing with patients. It is a formal part of their training. It is also a topic that all health professionals need to know about. Many of you will have already come across the term “flags”, and already be naturally gifted detectives! You will also understand the need to incorporate special questions into your assessments. It is a vast topic and additional reading is required to better understand what certain symptoms may mean and what to do about it. I hope you find the tutorial useful.
Client or Patient?
We have referred mainly to clients in this tutorial. The word patient suggest that there is a degree of clinical control from the therapist and that the person is in some way ill or damaged and in need of medical diagnosis and treatment. The word client however, is someone who is seeking out me as a provider of a professional service. We should not hold ourselves out as medical practitioners, unless qualified to do so, and therefore in our view, the word client is a more appropriate term for those coming to CM practitioners.
CM vs CAM
The term CAM refers to complementary and alternative medicine. Our view is that hands on treatments, therapies and services provided by those who are not medically qualified, should only ever complement appropriate medical advice and treatment. Whilst there will be those members of the public who seek only treatments offered outside mainstream medicine, it is our view that we should not encourage or condone this approach by suggesting our services might in any way offer an alternative.
Aims of tutorial
- To define and describe what “flags” are and their relevance to healthcare workers.
- To understand the need to look out for ‘flags’ during assessment, reassessment, and treatment.
- To know what ‘special’ questions to ask.
- To understand why those questions need to be asked and the implications for your treatment.
- To take part in a brief self-assessment quiz at the end, to verify completion of the training.