Priorities of Care: Spa and Clinic

There is a debate going on regarding a RMT working in a spa or a clinic where some people feel that it takes less education, is all about relaxation, and is easier to work in a spa than a clinic; and working in a clinic is harder, is all about healthcare and requires more education.

There are certain things that a RMT is required to do, regardless of the setting. Some of these include determining the client's goals, and identifying any risks or barriers to treatment. Examples of this are whether the client wants a relaxing massage, if they want to improve the range of motion of a joint, or even improve a functional movement. What if they are pregnant, or had a recent surgery? Once the RMT knows what the client's goals are, it's their job to make steps towards meeting the goals.

Since it doesn't matter where an RMT is, perhaps it's prudent to explore why someone would choose to see a RMT in a spa or a clinic. When you hear someone say "Wow I'm so _____! I need a massage!" What do you think of? It depends on what word is inserted there, doesn't it? If the word is 'stressed' then one might first think of a spa, but if the word is 'sore' or 'injured' then one might consider a clinic. Since many RMTs work in both a spa and clinic environment, why would someone think to go to one place over another?

The priorities of each setting is different. It's important to note, that no matter where a RMT works, they are mandated to provide Patient Centered Ethical Care. This means that they are expected to be professional, mindful, thorough, safe, sanitary, effective, etc. But aside from that, the two different businesses cater to two different philosophies with different ordered priorities.

Spa = Escape

  • Calm soothing relaxation treatments
  • Empathetic customer service
  • Balanced tranquil atmosphere
  • Service Oriented
  • Qualitative outcomes

Clinic = Healthcare

  • Scientific quantitative outcomes
  • Troubleshooting rehabilitation
  • Business/medical professional oriented
  • Neutral medical atmosphere
  • Calming empathetic treatments

Both places have essentially the same facets, just re-ordered. It's important for RMTs to work in both settings, as it gives them exposure to a wonderful array of challenges and aids in the growth of the RMT's skills.