Nutritional Therapists may sometimes work alone, possibly from their homes or at other premises. These guidelines are intended to highlight areas that may require attention and to raise awareness of the possible risks whether working from home or in a clinic on your own.
These are important factors to consider when working alone as a nutritional therapist.
- Contact the client’s GP, next of kin or another individual the client wishes to notify, if you are concerned about the client’s mental health, or about a medical condition which does not constitute a medical emergency. In the event of a medical or other emergency, call the emergency services immediately. Make sure you always have access to a phone in your consulting space.
- Make every attempt to move to a place of safety if a client is verbally or physically violent, aggressive or abusive towards you during a visit. Try not to engage in any response. Record and report all such incidents as appropriate.
- Ensure you always have full access to your exit route when consulting with clients, and that any exit doors are not locked.
- Take precautions to reduce any risk of cross infection. You may wish to carry a small bag with emergency articles such as gloves, mask, plastic apron, mobile phone. Remember always to change any clothes that are soiled as soon as practical.
- Request that clients and/or their companions do not smoke during the consultation, if working at the client’s home where there are smokers. However, please note that you cannot enforce this. If using your own premises to practise you can insist that clients and/or their companions do not to smoke.
- Avoid putting yourself in any situation where a client could accuse you of theft or misconduct. Do not move about the client’s home unaccompanied.
- Leave a record of the clients you are seeing at their home in a secure but accessible place. Include the client’s name, address and telephone number, your own contact number and your estimated time of arrival & departure to and from each client. Be sure to tell somebody else that you are working alone with clients and arrange for them to check regularly that all is well with you. Agree a back up plan should the third party become concerned about you.
- If you need to leave your client alone in the therapy room for any reason, ensure they do not have access to any confidential papers or notes,
- If working from home make sure that areas of the house outside your therapy room are secured.
- Call the client and check all doors and windows if there is no answer when you arrive at a client’s home for a pre arranged and confirmed appointment. If you are concerned for the client’s well being, call the emergency services.
- Arrange public liability insurance to cover for any loss and/or damage you might cause to a client’s property and ensure that you are covered to run you