Thank you to our videographer Michael Lylyk, our alumni Omer, Danielle, Nazila and Jeff, all our students who participated, and WCCMT instructor Dr. Vizniak for making this testimonial video possible!
Omer Karacay graduated from WCCMT in August 2015 and is currently working as a Registered Massage Therapist at Inlet Wellness Gallery in Port Moody. In addition, Omer recently joined the WCCMT faculty as a Teaching Assistant. He is here to share with us what his WCCMT experience was like. [Read more…]
Experience is the best teacher. That’s why WCCMT reaches out for stories from alumni who have graduated to become successful RMT’s. Learning about their Massage Therapy practice is an inspiration, and their advice is priceless. Linda “Koby” Blanchfield, who graduated from WCCMT in 1990, is an example of what dedication and a thirst for knowledge can accomplish.
When she attended school, the campus was located in East Vancouver, the heart of Chinatown at the time. Using public transit, it took her over an hour and 15 minutes one way to commute to school each day. Depending on the weather, it could have taken longer.
The long days were necessary for Koby, since WCCMT was the only Massage school in British Columbia at the time. Due to her growing family, she was unable to make the move to Ontario, and had to make due with the long hours of commute.
But, the hours spent transporting via bus were for a good cause. Koby originally pursued Massage Therapy for a very personal reason.
“I had a motor vehicle accident and physiotherapy, using electricity, was not helping,” Koby told us. “ A friend recommended Massage Therapy, which was then covered by the BC Medical Service Plan. It resolved my musculoskeletal issues. I was impressed, and thought that I would like to be able to help people, like my RMT helped me.”
Her experience left a lasting impression that seeped into her desire to help others through Massage. “It is a wonderful feeling to help folks on the path to wellness with hands on work and education,” she said. “It is gratifying to see the change in physical well being and this often leads to happier patients.”
Koby told us that the initial contact she makes with patients is usually by phone, a necessary step before they can book a treatment. Clients are sent information about some of the conditions they treat at the clinic, so they can work together to develop the treatment plan.
“None of the clients can book online, as the type of work we do must often be planned in advance. This involves collaboration, a great way to encourage adherence to treatment plans.”
When asked about advice for current and new students, Koby suggested to focus on the small things, like punctuality, giving 100% attention to the matter at hand and following through on any commitment made. These simple actions leave a lasting impact on patients and make them feel respected. She said the same applies for school and work, as it will have the same effect on colleagues and teachers.
Her final piece of advice is something that resonates deeply with the WCCMT spirit. Never stop learning – continued education builds a successful practice.
“Passing the Boards is only the start of entry to practice,” said Koby. “Continuing education should not be motivated by a point system, but rather by pursuit of the excellence we can bring to our practice. It never ends.”
Wise words from a valued WCCMT alumnus. Thank you Koby, for sharing your story with us!
Are you interested in a career as a Massage Therapist? Learn more about other students who found their path at WCCMT by checking out our blog and following us on Facebook and Twitter. Want to share your story? Contact Susy at [email protected]
We spoke with Maegan Chase, who graduated from the New Westminster campus in 2005. She decided to be self-employed right out of college and has recently moved her practice from Vancouver to Victoria.
What made you want to become an RMT?
It happened kind of accidentally. I knew that I wanted to work with people, but I was thinking of nursing or psychiatry. When I graduated high school, I volunteered at a wellness clinic in England and one of my duties there was to do a type of massage that they taught me and I really connected with it. The massage therapist there told me I should do my RMT training in the states. My plan was to get some basic ground work then go off and do other things. But when I got back and I started researching it, I thought ‘oh wow, this is totally different’. When I got into the program, I was reminded of how much I liked working with the human body and how I used to be very fascinated with it as a child. I didn’t really know what I was getting into, besides working with people and wanting to help.
What was your favorite part of being at the College?
The instructors were really great at the time; all very well-educated. The camaraderie and the community that I created have definitely been a resource and close friends of mine since I graduated.
What is the most rewarding part of being an RMT?
Well, there’s more than one aspect. First off would be the one-on-one time I get to spend with people and the therapeutic relationships I get to build with them. Secondly, being engaged and challenged, either by a case being presented to me or modalities I have to dust off and use. I also find it rewarding to figuring out what is going to work for people and what will help them the most.
What made you want to be self-employed?
I never really contemplated not being self-employed. At the time, it wasn’t really something that was done a lot, by the teachers or students I really identified with. And the benefits outweighed being employed [by someone].
How would you describe your practice?
I focus my practice on modalities such as facial, visceral manipulation, craniosacral therapy and some osteopathic techniques. I treat a wide variety of clientele, using these modalities. I generally work within multi-disciplinary practices, so I am used to working with other professionals. I just moved to Vancouver Island so I’m still building my clientele and referral base up, but I spent the last 10 years working this way in Vancouver.
Has moving greatly affected your practice?
It has definitely affected my practice, mainly in that I am starting again. I did not move for a job but I took a locum [on the Island] and I’ve since stayed on at that clinic. It’s really interesting to have to rebuild after being quite established in Vancouver, but I’m enjoying the change. The community here is different, and one of the biggest differences being that clinic rents are a lot higher than I was expecting.
What is your advice to someone who would like to be self-employed?
I rent space out of a clinic, so I think it would be different if you were opening up your own practice but I would say that if you’re just starting out, find somewhere that there is a well-established name and presence in the community because it’s a lot easier to build your practice from that then from scratch. Take a business course. When I was in school we didn’t get that much of business training. A lot of it you can learn on the go but it’s good to have the basic knowledge. Or work with a business coach to get you thinking about a long term plan and bigger picture. When you first get out of school, you’re more concerned about the money you owe to student loans, earning money as well as getting established, It’s okay to take the time to figure out where you want to go with your business and what kind of practice you want to establish.
Thanks to Maegan for sharing her experiences with us! Want to share your story? Contact [email protected] to be featured in our blog. As always, WCCMT would love to see you on LinkedIn, our New Westminster Facebook Page or our WCCMT/CCMH Facebook Page so you can stay connected with our community.