Student clinic is a graduation requirement at massage schools. As in many health professions, you must "try it for real" before practicing on the public. Under the supervision of an experienced, licensed professional, clinic can be the most rewarding experience in a student's education. Here's how to make your own clinic experience rewarding.
Job commitments, babysitting issues, domestic problems, gas prices and health problems are some obstacles confronting students while in massage school. Although these may seem insurmountable, students who plan well in advance (at least six months) have no problem completing clinic requirements. Successful massage students treat the clinic experience as if it were their own business, showing up on time, being courteous, professional and constantly seeking to improve their skills.
Five steps to complete at least six months before student clinic:
• List the obstacles you anticipate, and write down how you will overcome them.
• Realize you must make sacrifices in the short term for a long-term career.
• Develop a support system (fellow students, friends, co-workers, family members) you can call on to keep you on track when obstacles appear.
• Develop time-management and multitasking abilities.
• Keep education a high priority, and view yourself as a healthcare professional.
In other words, make clinic a priority. If you find yourself short on time, reassess your priorities. Your career should be the most important thing now; if it isn't, consider switching to part-time or taking clinic as a stand-alone class. Talk with your program director or director of education about options.
Remember: plan for student clinic, use your support system, and most important, communicate. Who knows, one day you might just direct your own massage program - that's how I got started!