Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) has been integrated into mainstream Western medicine, and is now offered by numerous hospitals in the United States. Of 714 hospitals surveyed, 42% have CAM services as an option and massage therapy is the most requested procedure for outpatient recovery, topping others at 64%. How do massage schools train their students for a career in a hospital setting?
Educational Requirements for Massage Therapists in Hospitals
To be eligible for work in a hospital, massage therapists must obtain a state massage license. States differ in their requirements for certification or licensure, so it is important to choose a massage school to meet the standards for licensing in the state that it is located.
For example, in Colorado, students must have at least 500 hours of education to qualify for and pass the written board exams. In Oregon, requirements differ slightly. The student must complete 625 hours of education, and pass a written exam about massage and open-book exam including the legal aspects of massage therapy.
Working Environment for Medical Massage Therapists
Hospital-based massage therapists have varied work settings. Some have their own room where patients go to have a massage, or the LMTs may go to the patient’s room if the client is admitted to the hospital. The therapist may also service hospital personnel in their own departments.
Pros and Cons of LMTs Working in a Hospital
The financial compensation of massage therapists working in hospitals is often at par with the nurses and therapists in other fields. It is also a fulfilling profession when patients report effective massage has eased their pain. On the other hand, LMTs may feel emotional when a regular patient passes away. The massage therapist also has to deal with working in a fast paced clinical setting..