Congratulations and Welcome to the wonderful world of Registered Massage Therapy! Now that you’ve survived a grueling program and an even more exhaustive and intensive board exam, you’re finally here – Well done!
Now comes the hard part… Where do you go? What do you do? Where do you really want to focus your practice? All of these are important questions and perhaps this post can help ease your mind and provide some insight into what your next step should be:
1. Take your Time AND do your Research!
Visit multiple practices and clinics and see what’s out there. Perhaps you can even volunteer, job shadow or locum for to get the feel of working in a professional environment. There are many, MANY opportunities waiting for you out there and you have to find the right fit for you and you for it. The number one cause of job dissatisfaction is stagnancy; not moving forward or more importantly, not LEARNING. Find or create a practice that will allow you to continuously grow and learn. That’s how leaders are made!
2. Where your Journey truly begins!
When you begin your practice you will start to see some complicated cases, perhaps more than what you expected. It can sometimes feel overwhelming. Breathe. It’ll all be OK. It is totally acceptable to not have all the answers BUT it is NOT alright to make it up or do a simple, ineffective treatment. Do your due diligence, be safe, and find out how you can best serve your patient. Seek guidance from other RMT’s or colleagues of other professions. What would they do? Read articles and research – Remember what I said about constantly learning?
3.Learn the Art of Communication!
You are now the professional. Your patients will be coming to YOU for their pain and rehabilitation needs. Remember that they don’t know what you know. You are responsible for telling them what is going on with them, what kind of treatment they need and how to go about getting that treatment. You will have the answers but if you don’t, be honest and find out the answers.
4. Be EXCITED!!!
Massage Therapy is one of the most evolving and diverse medical professions that exists today. You can focus your practice on so many different types of therapy; Pregnancy and Maternity, Sports, Geriatric, Neuro, Rehabilitation, Pediatrics, Chronic Illness, First Nations or maybe a little bit of everything. But remember to do what moves YOU and to find YOUR passion.
Adryon Hutton has been a RMT since 2004 and is currently a full time practitioner and co-owner of Legacies Health Centre in Surrey, BC. Adryon started her Massage Education in Halifax and transferred to WCCMT New West to complete her program and be ready to practice in B.C.. Her focus is Sports Therapy and she has worked at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, ITU World Cup, World Police and Fire Games. She has also worked with many sports affiliated teams such as the New Zealand Triathlon Team, Canadian Men’s Tennis, Vancouver Whitecaps and BC Lions.