I had no clue! - page 2

OMG! I had no clue there was such a thing as nurses working as massage therapists! I graduated from a 600 hr program in 1999. I am graduating today actually with my ADN. I have not done massage in... Read More

  1. by   TristleRN
    I think there may be a real future for nurse massage therapists. Many states, including mine, do not recognize that title. However, there are some areas that hire nurses who are massage therapists. Again, mine is not one of them. Still, one day I hope the powers that be recognize the benefits of massage. RN's definitely benefit from massage training. I would like to see massage being offered as one of many services in hospitals.
  2. by   redfoxglove
    Anyone interested in incorporating massage therapy into their practice should check out the website of the following organizations:

    American Massage Therapy Association
    National Association of Nurse Massage Therapists
    American Holistic Nurses Association
    The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork

    Just like nursing, massage therapy is a profession that requires education and credentials. Sure, there are states that don't require a license. Professionalism and credibility are not served by that.

    I recall one of my nursing instructors saying, "There is a reason that nursing requires a license. You don't want every person who thinks they have a caring heart to be at the bedside of someone who needs a licensed nurse."

    redfoxglove, LMP, RN
  3. by   RN/stilllearning
    Just curious, but where do these massaging nurses work? I have been an RN for 4 years now and have never heard of this but it sounds very interesting.
  4. by   AnjaliT
    I had a private duty patient who hired me specifically for nursing care to include massage therapy. I don't know about paid positions within an organization. Usually job postings are for a nurse "or" massage therapist, but not both.

    I've volunteered as a nurse massage therapist (community clinics and hospice) in CA for many years. Depending on state, there may be exemptions whether the nurse massage therapist is required to have additional licensing as a massage therapist.

    My experience with trying to incorporate massage therapy as a standard intervention to my nursing care seems to be laughed at by previous employers. Granted, I haven't worked in the hospital setting since 2007. Hope there's been some advancement in that area. Patients benefit so much from therapeutic massage.
  5. by   redfoxglove
    In my state of Washington, massage therapy has been a licensed profession since the late 1980s. I've been an LMP since 1993, with either a full time practice, or part time during nursing school. At this time I am employed part time as a community health nurse, and I am restarting my therapy practice with an expanded scope which I gained through nursing school and my RN credential, earned in 2011.

    From my experience and perspective, massage therapy is a separate practice than the massage techniques that may be employed by a nurse at the bedside. That said, there is much in the nursing process, patient education skills, and caring intent of a nurse that can be incorporated into a massage therapy,or holistic nursing, type of practice

    Again, from my vantage point, my impression is that nurse massage therapists will find little in the way of "employment" by a third party, but will find much opportunity for entrepreneurial private practice. As Anjali states above, attempts to incorporate massage techniques in the standard medical setting are met, largely, with suspicion. "Who authorized that?" or "Isn't that putting the patient at risk? How is increasing circulation going to impact their IV drip, or their CHF?"

    Over the years I have seen massage therapy incorporated into a hospital setting. The vignette comprises an independent contractor massage therapist or nurse massage therapist providing services on campus to staff. In my experience I have heard of no massage therapy technques being used in the hospital setting on patients. Understand, however that I live in a rural area, and so I have no knowledge of what goes on, or what money resources are available, for hospital based or community based nurse massage therapy programs in larger hospitals with more affluent demographics.

    In other words, there usually is not an "employer" or "job". It's entrepreneurial self employment.

    My bias is toward licensure and formal education for massage therapists. I do understand there are different laws in various states. I question whether a nurse program prepares anyone for a formal massage therapy practice. That does not mean than nurses should not employ caring touch at the bedside. But I do think that the two practices, with proper training and licensure, make for a dynamic practice and a much broader scope than either one does alone.

    I strongly encourage anyone interested in this subject to look at the websites that I mention in my post above. There is a great need for bringing the holistic roots of nursing back out into the light of day. And my way of thinking about it is certainly just that, my way.
  6. by   Du3du3
    Is it very different from physiotherapy?