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December 2013

Caring Through Client Assessments

by Nick A. Titley, M.S., NPI-Certified Posture Specialist

One of the best ways a fitness or allied health/medical professional can show how much they care for their client is by conducting assessments. The right assessments can also help both parties understand the learning and communication styles, and the biomechanical and postural related abilities, or problems that exist for the client.

Assessments also allow the fitness or allied health/medical professional to craft individualized programs that meet the needs of their clients. However, many professionals don't conduct assessments. 

Administering assessments allow a professional to safely develop a better understanding of their client, and will help them determine a client's current readiness to starting a new program. At the National Posture Institute, conducting assessments is the corner stone of designing a specialized program that will best meet the goals and objectives of the client.

NPI Certified Posture Specialists have learned to administer assessments that include evaluating joint range of motion (ROM), activities of daily living (ADL), static and dynamic postural assessments i.e. whether being stationary or while moving. They also utilize a Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic (VAK) learning model that determines a client's style of learning and what forms of communication will work best for them.

A non-assessment based approach can be detrimental to the professional and the client's overall success. This approach does not allow for an effective individualized program because it neglects gathering information about the client. In this approach, assessments are not tailored to the specific client, or there are no re-assessments completed to gauge progress.

As a result, both client and professional are unable to effectively establish a way of achieving their goals and objectives. There is no roadmap to follow and the risk of misjudging a client's readiness to a new program, and other integral data remain unknown.

This could lead to safety issues, increased postural related problems, future injury and frustrations about attaining results. According to research by the National Posture Institute, 70% of gym goers will quit after 6 months. Reasons for dropping out include: feeling discouraged after not seeing results, feeling the gym is a waste of time and lacking a good, caring support system from the staff at the gym.

When clients feel that the professional doesn't care about their development, and when there is little evaluation to determine any progress made since the start of the program, it could lead clients to feel less motivated, and they might be more willing to quit.

Clients won't know how much we care, until we demonstrate how much we're interested in their overall success and wellbeing. This is why we must strive to create assessments that will allow us to develop tailored programs. These programs will provide feedback on the client's overall wellbeing throughout the process.

Administering assessments can lead to a safer environment that is conducive to learning, and the overall growth and development for both parties involved. Remember, try to assess your clients, because it will show how much you care for their wellbeing. It will also demonstrate your level of education, and your commitment toward helping them achieve their goals.

 

 
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