There are enough clients and work to go around for all of us. Consider how collaborating with other professionals in your area or the periphery of your field may make you better at what you do. We are better when working together, and I believe our clients are better off.
As a fitness professional working in the collegiate realm, this has been of the utmost importance to me and my career. Collaborating on a team to produce the best product has been a great learning experience. And let’s face it, when we work together it expounds upon the individual ideas and makes them grander. We also get the opportunity to hear other points of view and fresh ideas.
Being able to draw on the knowledge of others is an immeasurable way to learn and grow in your area of expertise. The benefits of mentoring and being mentored by others are also invaluable. Think back to who mentored you in your profession. How has that experience shaped your practice today? How can you pour into others to share your knowledge?
As a personal trainer, I try to build relationships with other professionals in my area. There will come a time in your career when a client presents with an issue outside your scope of practice. Having a list of reliable professionals you can refer for your client is wonderful. This often yields better results for the client than searching the internet for a provider. And yes, I even have relationships with other trainers.
Not every trainer is suitable for every person. Here is a list of the health professionals I have built relationships with inside my area:
- Group instructors
- Massage therapist
- Orthopedic surgeons
- Personal trainers
- Physical therapist
- Registered dieticians
It has been one of my greatest privileges to work alongside a physical therapist to graduate a client from physical therapy to personal training. I have learned so much about injuries and rehab and have built trusted relationships that I can refer my clients to, and I have been referred to by those professionals as well.
What to Keep in Mind
An important caveat: work within your scope of practice. If the opportunity arises to work with another health professional, obtain the proper Request For Information. This document says the client/patient has permitted the two professionals to share information on them. Abiding by all HIPAA laws and regulations, use this information to help bring the client/patient to better whole health.
I know what I offer as a personal trainer is not the only thing my clients need in their life for whole-body health. Sometimes, possibly combining massage with our workouts is what brings their bodies to better health.
Another example is counseling. It may be that the stress in life is making it more difficult for my client to reach their full potential; talk therapy may make the physical workout more productive.
If we keep in mind that as health professionals we are working toward the whole-body health of our clients/patients, this style of practice is not complex. If we are honest, it is the same for us. Complete whole-body health has many different facets.
Cultivate, build and grow.