Moving Forward is Good but Moving Forward Together is Better

Amanda Kihn is a Victoria Campus student who has just successfully completed term 1. We asked her if term 1 met her expectations and what Amanda is anticipating term 2 will bring.

amandaWhat made you decide to be an RMT and why did you pick WCCMT?

My vocational rehabilitation program offered to pay for a two-year program when I retired last year. I have been practicing alternate healing modalities of a more spiritual nature and I really was looking for a program to supplement my hands on healing techniques. I am also a scientist at heart, so I wanted a program that would engage my brain and teach my hands about what they were feeling when it wasn’t energetic in nature. When I started looking for complementary healing modalities that fit the parameters outlined by my counselor, this program was perfect for me on many levels. I’m still not sure exactly how my practice is going to shape itself, but I am really hoping to work with Somatic Experiencing as I initially thought that I would like to work with patients suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder.

What expectations did you have for term one and how was what you experienced different?

The only expectations that I had for first term was that I would master the basics: not just that I could rote memorize whatever the professors told us to, but to really understand the science, the “why” behind what we were copying into our mental tool boxes. I really expected that I would do this on my own with ease. The reality was that I learn best by teaching others, so I formed small study groups and we mulled over the material together. We worked out the kinks and did our best to fill in the blanks as we sought mastery of the material together.

What was your favourite part of your first term?

Anatomy & Physiology 1 after-parties. This is what we affectionately referred to our group study together. My favourite moment was when my peers found out that they had passed A&P and thanked me for helping them out. All the good grades on my transcript felt rewarding, but nothing felt as good as knowing that my peers were coming to term two with me. 

What was the most difficult?

The most difficult part of term one for me was that two of my classmates chose not to return for term two. In the classroom, we’ve created an atmosphere of family and I really didn’t want to have anyone “miss the after-party.” I also felt particularly challenged to put all of the academics into practice for our clinical assessment final oral practical exam. It’s one thing to be able to master isolated pieces of the academic and theoretical puzzle, but final exam anxiety and putting everything into practice was hard for me. I was so nervous during my exam that I completely forgot to do one component of my assessment. It’s really easy to let nerves get the best of you during these practical exams and that’s especially challenging for me.

 How did you feel coming up to term two?

I was still really exhausted from term one: it’s a lot of information to assimilate in such a short period of time. By the time we were ready to start term two, I felt like I needed a vacation from my vacation! I was really happy to be back in the groove of classes and studies. I had a lot of anxiety over the break about starting the clinical internship and I was stressing about time management, child care for my children, and many fears of the unknown pieces that I felt I didn’t have enough time to prepare for. All that aside, I was really looking forward to digging back in for more neurology and musculoskeletal anatomy and physiology.

What are you looking forward to the most in term two?

I thought that neurology and MSAK 2 would be my favourite pieces of this term, until we really settled into our Manual Skills 2 class. Every exchange we do in class makes me feel more grounded in why I am doing this program. I believe I am on this planet to help people heal and I’m picking up so many tools for my toolbox in that MS2 class. I’m also looking forward to Therapeutic Exercise group presentations as I will be studying Thai Chi this term as a new home care exercise to recommend to my patients. I also feel particularly blessed to be learning from a myriad of supervisors in our intern clinic: I think of it as learning from a different Kung Fu Master every time I get a new supervisor. I’m so excited to be mentored by these talented RMTs who are so passionate about imparting their gifts to our practice.

Is there anything you aren’t looking forward to/are dreading?

I’m not really looking forward to our practical assessments in the final two weeks of this term. I’m learning to be gentler with myself and not put so much stock in my final grades. Instead I’m just trying to get as much out of my exposure to the material that my mentors, supervisors and professors are helping me to explore. 

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about joining the program?

As important as it is to know why you want to be an RMT and what you want to do with your practice, I think it’s important to learn to let the material guide your path. We get a lot of exposure to various demographics, pathologies, and modalities of treatment and you will naturally find that you are drawn to your innate gifts as a therapist. Let your inner fulfillment and joy be your compass when it comes to manifesting your destiny as an RMT. I’m still not 100% sure what I like the most about this program and what I want to do as a therapist, so for now, it’s my job to just notice which pieces of the puzzle I like best and which style of Kung Fu I want to practice… or finding a way to craft my own style as I seek mastery with this art.

Thanks to Amanda for sharing his experiences with us! Want to share your story? Contact marketing@collegeofmassage.com to be featured in our blog.

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