Sunday, July 31, 2011
GRADUATION & FRUSTRATION
Massage therapy is now a licensed occupation
The massage community is actively engaged and being supported by high quality research.
The massage community has an acceptable formal body of knowledge- the MTBOK
Support for employment primarily from the growing franchise sector
What hasn't changed:
Educational standards -we are still stuck around with number of hours instead of competencies to practice
Educational excellence- buyer beware when it comes to massage schools and continuing education
Bickering, infighting and lack of cooperation among professional organizations- I am really getting tired of this
An agreed upon entry level competency base and educational platform- This is becoming ridiculous
A scope of practice that is realistic and attainable with formal education and professional experience
Very little research on ergonomics and biomechanics--this has got to change. The profession has to support independent evaluation and assessment of how we do massage. We cannot do this ourselves and be objective. The injury rate is unacceptable and massage therapists are not able to perform enough massage to generate a sustainable income.
There is more but I am beginning to get frustrated. How can I send my graduates into this professional world confident that they will receive the support they need as they grow into real massage therapists. I am on a bunch of committees with a variety of different organizations. I know that there are many who are trying to resolve these issues however------
I am angry with myself as well. Last week when discussing a model curriculum in a competency based platform -both of which I have already done in conjunction with my textbooks specifically but also much broader with the entire Elsevier massage educational line- I recommended that an independent group outside of massage be found to actually develop the document. This is an excellent recommendation by the way and is not why I am angry and disappointed with myself. What I did that bothers me is saying that at this point I personally was unwilling to lead this process because I did not want to put myself up for all the infighting, criticism and opinion based comments that I think would occur. Shame on me. Jan Schwartz made a comment and recommendation on one of the other discussion boards that leading educators need to be brought together and get this thing done. I agree! I also recognize that the massage profession has a huge learning curve to deal with concerning educational design and we need to admit it and commit to paying consultants and collaborators to do this for us with guidance from the profession. Once we have this document-based on the MTBOK-the next challenge will be to bring instructing staff up to speed.
The ABMP is going around the country presenting instructor training workshops for FREE. Myself and my instructors attended the one that was just presented in Detroit. Yes, there is promotional aspect for ABMP and I believe this is one of the greatest marketing campaigns I have seen. Regardless the presenters did a fantastic job as did the course developers. On the way back in the car my instructors said--"We already do most of that stuff". Proudly patting myself on my back I agreed. What struck me however during the workshop and the interaction is that the broad spectrum of instructors from many schools in attendance really want to do a great job and the skills provided were very new and unfamiliar to many. There was nothing unique about what was presented in the workshop. The observation that the information was unfamiliar with many was sad. Massage therapy instructors want to do a good job but the massage profession is not working together well enough to give them the tools they need. It is time to graduate and get on with it. None of the information and skills the profession needs is different than other groups. It is all out there and successfully being done and implemented by other professions. I can't imagine having the recreate the wheel again and to do so is a waste of time and a disgrace to those entering the massage profession. So now I think I want to cry but will go walk around my garden and commit to being part of this process even if I am personally and professionally vulnerable. I owe it to my graduates.