One of the most rewarding aspects of becoming a massage therapist is the ability to help patients. In fact, many massage therapy students say that helping patients was what drew them to pursue a career in massage.
For students who are eager to gain practical experience and launch their careers in massage therapy, waiting until after graduation to work with real patients can seem like a long time. Fortunately, students at OVCMT don’t have to wait until after they complete their diploma to get clinical experience. That’s because OVCMT combines both theoretical knowledge and practical training. Our in-house massage clinic lets students gain practical skills and begin working on patients during their very year first year of massage college.
Read on to find out why our students love the OVCMT on-site clinic, and how a practical education helps build a stronger career in massage.
Massage therapists need to be experts in how the body works, but developing a successful MT career takes even more than that. Students at OVCMT learn all about the business aspects and professional requirements of operating a clinic, in addition to human science and other academic courses like anatomy, physiology and research. Learning how the body works is essential to understanding how and why massage acts as an effective complementary treatment for certain health problems and generally restores balance to body and mind.
OVCMT's practical training in the therapeutic massage program, as well as the spa practitioner certificate, put this theory into action with demonstration and hands-on practice of important massage techniques. In practical classes such as massage theory and practice, clinical theory and practice, and joint mobilization, students simulate work on real patients by practicing on each other to apply their knowledge and skills.
The clinical practicum integrates these accumulated skills, providing valuable opportunities for students to develop their proficiency and experience. Students apply their human science, clinic operations and practical knowledge and skills with real people that have real conditions. Practicing various massage techniques as well as clinic skills like patient assessment and interaction allows students to graduate with practical, job-ready skills.
Part of what makes our in-house clinic practicum so effective is that it teaches students about every aspect of running a massage clinic. In their first year at OVCMT, students completing their practicum become familiar with how a massage clinic operates and learn how to:
Students focus on full body massage in our clinic, integrating additional treatment as more skills are learned. As a result of this practicum training, students learn about the many cross-functional duties that contribute to running a massage clinic smoothly.
While the first year of the practicum focuses on working in and operating our onsite clinic, second year broadens the scope of their practical education. With thousands of patients each year participating from the community, second year students gain experience with all stages of life and with all major types of conditions or pathologies. Patients may be infants, children, adults or seniors, from a wide variety of backgrounds. Students work with patients with all types of major condition categories, such as workplace and sports injuries, orthopedic, neurological, scar tissue, cancer, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, psychosocial cognitive, and pre- and post-joint replacement.
Careers in massage therapy offer a great deal of diversity, and OVCMT's practicum gives students extensive experience with massage techniques and patient conditions. This not only prepares them to work in a variety of situations, it also helps them decide how they want to focus their own practice. For example, massage therapists might choose to work in sports massage with athletes, or in a clinics that offers infant massage, geriatric massage, pain management or lymphedema treatment once they graduate from massage college. Developing this experience during the course of the program gives OVCMT students a head start on pursuing rewarding careers.
Are you interested in completing your massage therapist training? Discover if a career in massage is right for you.