How do we measure our advanced skills?

“How do we show the measure/accomplishments of our advanced studies & skills massage to healthcare professionals & the public? “
If you work in the healthcare industry in your massage practice, what does this mean to you? 

This is one of the topics that is up for discussion at this year’s Assembly of Delegates Meeting at the National Convention. As massage therapists, how do we show the measure/accomplishments of our advanced studies and skills in massage education to healthcare professionals and the public?   Summary rationale of why the AMTA Assembly of Delegates should consider this topic for discussion:

The massage therapy profession is changing and more and more people are accessing massage services every day for stress reduction, relaxation, and specific conditions.   Many of us know of a therapist that has taken an entry-level class and leaves thinking they have a mastery of it and can start practicing it right away.

People looking for massage to address specific conditions or modalities need a better way to make an educated decision about who has the necessary skills and training. We need to provide them with a system to show the mastery in specific modalities.   Also, a better system is needed because words are confusing. We need to provide an easier way to explain the words in a more uniform manner that everyone understands. Mastery of a specific technique or skill level is important and the words like: Intro to, Basic course of, Certificate in, Certification of, can be confusing.

NCBTMB is currently the only nationally recognized certifying board for continuing education in massage. Should the Profession develop a series of levels in certification to make this process easier through our Board Certification process, which is already in place? Are there other certification programs in place that could be looked at as models?

A unified system involving our educators, schools and therapists would enhance the massage profession making it easier for everyone to understand the level and value of our continuing education.

List up to three questions you would like to pose for discussion by the Assembly of Delegates:

  1. What does Continuing Education (CE) actually measure and how could Board Certification make enough of a distinction to show our skill levels, achieved throughout our careers?
  2. How important is it that continuing education, in a specific modality, include a certain amount of CE credits as well as documented sessions and practical testing to prove the skill level, or to show the mastery of this skill level?

This brings up many thoughts regarding exactly what that means and how we can help our therapists do this.

Often in discussions regarding massage we are not specific. The question of how might massage might be measurable.  Can we as professionals and an organization help us all to move forward with this?
Further discussions can be of benefit to massage therapists and the profession around this idea of “How do we show/measure our accomplishments?”. If this measurement truly exists it may aid in opening doors into integrated health opportunities for massage therapists, strengthen our stance that we are an integral part of healthcare and provide a means for us to be better understood within the healthcare community.
List up to three questions you’d like to pose for discussion by the AOD.
  • Questions need to be open-ended.
  • Questions should target the information that the proposal hopes to gather.
  • Is there any action that you feel the AMTA should consider taking regarding this proposal? If so what?
In relation to integrated health care what is the specific ‘measurement’ we should be using (with examples)?
  • Are there resources that the AMTA has, should develop or can make available to members to help strengthen our collective ability to measure in a more professional and constructive manner?
Do you have some thoughts about this in your practice? Please share them with me so that I may present them to the AOD and add to the discussion prior to our National Convention. Great topic of discussion at the potluck picnic on October 5th/2019! Can’t wait to hear from you!
Thank you for your participation in this discussion!
Neva Tsukiyama:
Assembly of Delegates representative for AMTA HI Chapter