When choosing a massage school, make sure a student massage clinic or internship is included in the training. If you're already enrolled in a massage school, make a point to take advantage of this valuable opportunity.
A student massage clinic offers massages to students, faculty, staff, and the public at a reduced cost. An instructor supervises the clinic while the students get experience working with the public. Participating in a student clinic can help you overcome your apprehensions before you enter the professional world. You not only get experience doing massage, but you also gain knowledge of how an office is operated and maintained. You can learn how to answer the telephone, schedule appointments, organize a file system, and develop the social skills you need to work with the public.
A massage internship involves working at an established business as a massage therapist to accumulate the required internship hours, which can be 150 or more. Spas, massage clinics, hospitals, chiropractors, and rehabilitation offices accept massage students for internships. As an intern, you are assigned to a practicing massage therapist or other professional with massage experience who acts as your supervisor. This supervisor provides you with weekly evaluations and a final evaluation of your progress.
To get the most from your clinic or internship experience, follow these suggestions:
• Realize that your supervisor is there to help you.
• Take constructive feedback and use it to your advantage.
• Be professional at all times. This includes having a professional attitude with clients and co-workers.
• Be responsible. This includes being on time and having good communication with your supervisor and co-workers. If you are going to miss one of your shifts due to being ill or other unforeseen events, or if you are going to be late, be responsible and call your internship site so they are always informed.
Both the student clinic and internships are wonderful learning experiences. The supervision, feedback, and hands-on experience received are invaluable to your success in the massage therapy profession.