We applaud all graduates and those coming up to finishing their first year in massage therapy!
To quote my own favorite massage instructor, “Some of you will go on to teach, others will develop courses, do research, or write books.” Even if your ambition is simply to be the best therapist you can, it is good to keep in mind a few things as you explore your new path.
- Stay in touch. Those classmates that let you practice treating longus colli and pectineus? Continue to use them as your support base. Believe it or not, rarely will you see a textbook case in clinic. You will need other massage therapists to bounce ideas off of, and share your victories with. With the ease of social networking, there’s really no excuse for not staying in touch.
- Stay educated. This is not just a job, it’s a profession that requires continuing education. Don’t hate it. Professional development credits and continuing education units are your friend! Use the self-assessment tools provided by the associations to identify and bolster any weak spots you might have. Always be on the lookout for courses that are interesting, applicable to what you want to do, and will challenge you. Are you working with other RMT’s or in a multi-disciplinary setting? Take advantage of the experience around you, ask what they would do, how to handle things, or if you’re missing anything in your treatment protocol. You will not only expand your skill set, but also learn how to communicate effectively with other health care professionals. (You say external rotation, I say lateral rotation.)
- Stay engaged. Go to your AGM. You will learn about your profession, hear what is happening provincially and sometimes at a national level, and even run into some of those classmates you kept in touch with! Massage therapy as a profession is in a maturation process across Canada, and it’s a very exciting time. Associations and colleges across Canada have webpages, Facebook and mailing lists, by staying informed you will grow to see more than the perspective of the course you graduated from. Why is this important? With the Inter-Jurisdictional Practice Competencies and Performance Indicators for Massage Therapists at Entry to Practice document, we see the beginning of the possibility of a national competency exam. If this blog post is the first you’ve heard of such a thing, check your association website!
Whether it’s your job or your calling, welcome to the industry!