Practice Your Skills in a Real-World Setting
Massage therapy is a hands-on profession, and you need a hands-on education. Vicars gives you hundreds of hours of real-world experience in a variety of clinical environments under the guidance of the school’s trained supervisors.
Before you practice your skills on members of the public, you’ll learn by working with your fellow students in class. Our classrooms are divided into a lecture space, and a lab area, and you’ll have hands-on training every time you’re on campus. You’ll also be responsible for completing and documenting massage assignments on family members and friends as part of your independent study work each week.
Once you’ve practiced your techniques in class and at home, it will be time to work on the public. Students complete a minimum of 332 hours of supervised clinical experience over the course of the two-year program. This is the level of supervised clinic experience a school must provide under the national curriculum standard.
In-class teaching clinics
These clinics take place on scheduled class days and are an opportunity to apply the skills you’re currently learning by working on real people with real conditions. You’ll be using the techniques you’re learning that month. These in-class clinics begin mid-way through first year and continue every month until graduation.
At the start, you’ll be performing relaxation massage; as your skills develop the clinics will target more advanced conditions. By second year, clinics will be devoted to treating people with specific conditions or needs such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, orthopedic injuries, brain and spinal cord injuries, and more. Each massage includes an assessment prior to the massage treatment.
At our regular public clinic, you’ll gain experience treating the general public in a simulated clinic environment. This clinic takes place outside of your regular classroom hours. Daytime and evening shifts are available throughout the week, and you’ll work 3-4 shifts per month starting mid-way through your first year.
There is a trained supervisor at every clinic to give you support and direction. A normal shift consists of two 60-minute massages, and for each appointment you’ll conduct an assessment and perform a personalized treatment based on your client’s needs. You will also have a few shifts as clinic receptionist, and a few as clinic support. This way, you learn about all of the tasks that go into keeping a clinic running: customer service, laundry, recordkeeping, payment, client management, and more.
The Vicars School public clinics are very popular in the community, and you’ll have the opportunity to treat clients from all walks of life.
To offer even more variety for our students, the school regularly organizes outreach events where students can earn clinical hours in a new setting. We are careful only to choose events that provide a learning opportunity for students and that contribute to the community in a positive way. For example, you’ll often see our students treating athletes at charity and sports events.
Is a Career as a Massage Therapist Right for You?
Take the “Massage Therapy Career Training Readiness Quiz”
This fun, online quiz takes 3 minutes to complete and you’ll get a personalized report. Identify your strengths and social style plus the training and positions you’re best suited for.