Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Where has the 2011 year gone! 2012 is almost here and many feel as if great change is in store for all of us. Some are afraid but not me. I am really excited about the possibilities. I hope for opportunities for each of us to determine what is really important. Many have already experienced huge economic changes and we are learning how to live lighter on the planet and be content with less. Less is more is not only wisdom for massage application but also for an approach to life. I have always played a mind game with myself about what is the smallest space I could happily live in. I have it down to about a 12x12 ish space so long as I have windows and sunshine. I have played with what is the least amount of water I need to stay clean, keep my environment clean and stay healthy. You would be surprised how far a gallon of water a day can go. Since this blog is meant to be an exploration of massage therapy, you may be wondering what this has to do with massage? We need fewer organizations overlapping services, fewer names for the same basic massage methods, and sustainable massage fees for clients and realistic wages for massage therapists. While at the AMTA convention in Portland I had a very interesting conversation with a Doctor in a position with a major health care delivery organization about limitations for employment of massage therapists. Not surprisingly cost was the major factor and I asked what wage/salary would be able to be absorbed by the organization without reliance on insurance reimbursement. Then I explain what follows below from my textbook "Clinical Massage in the Health Care Setting". His response was that if this was widely known and properly implemented it could greatly increase the use of massage therapists in health care. So yup 2012 may very well usher in a time of reality checks and I think our profession needs one.
Pay Scales for Therapeutic Massage in the Health Care Environment
Comparing the pay scales of similar careers in the health care field is the best way to determine the pay scales for massage therapists. The emergency medical technician (EMT) provides a good example. The EMT has a similar level of education and comparable requirements in the health care setting. The basic responsibilities of an EMT are to:
· Have a high school diploma, successfully complete EMT training, register with the EMT national registry, obtain licensure from the state emergency medical services (EMS) authority, and have 2 to 4 years of related experience
· Respond to an emergency call, assesses the situation, obtain a basic medical history, perform a physical examination of the patient, and provide emergency medical care at the scene and during transit to the hospital
· Use medical equipment to treat patients and ascertain the extent of their injuries or illness
· Communicate with the medical facility receiving the patient about the patient’s condition, status, and arrival time
· Be familiar with standard concepts, practices, and procedures in a particular field
· Rely on experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals and perform a variety of tasks
· Work under the supervision of a manager
The annual salary for an EMT can range from $23,000 to $30,000.
A comparison of educational requirements for health professionals shows that those who provide direct, hands-on care to patients usually have an associate’s degree (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Other health professions that have training programs similar to those for massage include phlebotomist, certified nurse’s aide, dental assistant, and occupational therapy assistant. Based on these data, the annual entry level salary for massage therapy probably will range from $22,000 to $30,000. In addition, typical benefits packages, including health care, are offered. If a massage therapist has an associate’s degree or higher or previous health care experience, or is dually trained (e.g., is a licensed practical nurse [LPN]), the pay rate may be as high as $35,000 a year.
If you are interested in providing massage in health care then I strongly suggest you take this to heart and cross train as a Certified Nurse Assistant which will provide necessary skills to work successfully in hospitals and other health care environments.