However, there are strategies massage therapists can take to ensure the longevity of their career. Burnout is avoidable.
Don’t overwork or over schedule yourself. Learn to say no. Set reasonable guidelines for yourself prior to accepting any job offer. Make sure you know what you are getting into ahead of time and that your expectations are clearly laid out in terms of time spent massaging and breaks in between clients. Do take breaks and time off to heal if needed. Injuries, such as tendonitis, can become worse if not addressed. Take care of yourself first.
Do's & Don'ts
Don’t power through the pain. Therapists know this. Often, we give such advice to patients but fail to follow the same protocol in regards to our own health. It is important to be aware of your body. If something begins to cause pain, take a break. Rest. Take your own advice.
Do limit yourself to only 4-6 hours of massage a day, with at least 10-minute breaks in between each client as per recommendations outlined by most massage therapy schools. Massaging 8 hours a day straight will quickly lead to burnout. Pace yourself accordingly.
Don’t stop learning. Science and technology are constantly changing and improving. Thus, most jobs in the healthcare field are a constant learning process.
Invest in Continuing Education
Prior to enrolling in a massage therapy or any manual therapy program, you should further assess your own physical health. Are you ready for the physical demands of the job? Do you work out on a regular basis? Do you eat fairly healthy? Being in exceptional physical condition can set you up for the physical aspects required in the manual therapy field.
Manual therapy and massage therapy can be a very rewarding jobs. However, burnout rates are high due to the physically demanding aspects associated with the professions. Taking care of yourself should be a top priority. It can prevent burnout and ensure your clients are receiving the optimal care they deserve.
As early as 1989, clinics have been exploring paperless options as a means to save on expenses. The Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre located in Boston implemented what is likely one of the first computerized patient record systems. One clinic estimated in 1996 that they had saved $56,000 dollars in expenses since making the switch. In today’s economy, this number accounts for close to the $88,000 dollar range. Looking to save a bit on your clinic’s budget? Going paperless can save thousands of dollars a year for your practice. Online clinic management tools may be the way to go.
Many Norwegian hospitals have eliminated paper via the implementation of an electronic medical record system. Although tedious, scanning previous client records to an online database is necessary when implementing a paperless management strategy. For the Norwegian healthcare system, scanning patient records were step one to paving the way toward a paperless system.
Consequently, over a three year time period, the electronic medical record system was used by Norwegian nurses and physicians for over 50% of their tasks. The gradual inclusion of the system provided little disruption to the daily function and procedures of the hospital staff. The study pertaining to the Norwegian hospitals did note that future inclusion of the system would likely only become easier with time as the majority of the workforce would continue to be more familiar with computerized technology. However, the paperless system did provide superior organizational methods and time-saving strategies for retrieving patient information when compared to previous paper procedures.
Associated doctor walk-in clinics found electronic patient record systems to be a crucial time-saving tactic. When a patient went to a different location, they saved time by avoiding faxing pages of patient files. The electronic system was able to pull the patient file up right away with minimal time designated to calling another clinic and awaiting a response.
Further, a variety of dental offices and associated dental laboratories have also begun using paperless web content management systems to communicate more efficiently. They found it reduced miscommunication between the two locations and reduced the time spent fixing any miscommunication commonly found in older paper procedures.
Paperless methods can include a broad range of clinic management support tools which help clinics and practitioners save time and money.
Prescribed exercises for clients can even be emailed through the use of online applications, such as the Home Exercise Program by iBody Academy. The exercises can be opened anywhere via the client’s email on their cell phone. Going paperless means no lost printed exercise sheets. It also eliminates the time it takes to print out exercises for each patient.
Continuing education classes, also referred to as online CEU classes, are offered online to therapists in order to expand or brush up on their manual therapy skills. This can save critical commuting time and allow for each practitioner to complete the course in their own time. For small clinic managers specifically, this can allocate more time for other important management tasks.
For client management, online procedures are evidently becoming the new go-to for many healthcare clinics. Going paperless can reduce time spent on repetitive or mundane tasks and increase organizational methods in a clinic. Manual therapists and massage therapists alike can collaborate easier via secure online methods which can further aid in adherence to professional standards of care. Time saved enables more one-on-one time with clients, allowing for the possibility of improved services and assistance to those who need it the most. Going paperless will not happen overnight. However, starting sooner rather than later can ensure your clinic does not get left behind in today's fast paced technology age.
In professions, such as massage therapy and physiotherapy, exercises completed in the client's own time are just as important as the time they spend in the clinic with the therapist. It is a combined effort of the client and therapist to ensure an effective and speedy recovery.
Unfortunately, many patients fall off the bandwagon with their exercises. 65% of physiotherapy patient’s lack adherence to their prescribed home exercise programs. They forget to do them. They don’t know how to do them. They don’t realize the benefits related to them. The reasons are endless.
Patients are more likely to complete their at-home exercises if the deliverance of the exercise is related to a positive experience. One study, in particular, explored factors such as time consumption of the exercises, exercise complexity, effects of the exercise, and the care provider’s style at delivering explanations of the exercises.
There was less adherence to an exercise program when there was a huge time commitment and when the exercise was too complex. Simplifying exercises and adjusting the program throughout treatment can counteract these issues. Further, patients were more likely to do the prescribed exercises when there was a justifiable explanation for why they should do them. Explaining why they should strengthen or stretch out a certain muscle group or how it pertains to their injury can provide motivation and incentive for the patient to complete their exercises in their own time. Checking in at every appointment can further hold them accountable. Dependent on individual clinic setups, it may also be a viable option to have the patients not completing their exercises at home do so in the clinic before or after their manual treatment with the goal being to eventually transfer them to an at-home exercise program.
Today, practitioners can even use modern technology to simplify the exercise prescription process. The iBodyHEP (Home Exercise Program) is a great tool for therapist to maintain patient engagement. With over 2000 exercises to choose from, therapists can provide patients with prescribed exercises via email, videos, images, print, and track sheets. Lifestyle and condition packages can be selected or therapists can create their own program tailored to fit each client’s individual needs. Repetitions and sets can be established as per the recommendations of individual therapists.
The process of prescribing at-home exercises does not have to be difficult. Various strategies can be implemented to ensure clients complete their at-home exercises. Online applications can complement manual therapists’ treatment plans and promote higher adherence to patient home exercise programs. It further can keep therapists connected with their clients and can increase client engagement optimizing their treatment goals, keeping clients on track. As a professional manual therapist, it is important to explain to patients the reasoning behind exercise prescriptions throughout their treatment plan. Be sure to progress the exercises and take off any that have already been bumped up a level. Keep it simple for your patients. Start small. Explain the fundamentals. Given the correct tools and information, patients are more likely to adhere to their prescribed exercise program. No more excuses!