Understanding the Patient: Palliative Care

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As the population continues to age, massage therapists well-versed in elder care will have many opportunities open to them. This course provides a thorough exploration of conditions in palliative care, how massage can benefit the patient, and massage therapy techniques applicable to symptoms associated with this population.

In this course, you will learn:

  • The role and responsibilities of the massage therapist as a member of the palliative healthcare team.
  • Limitations associated with various treatment environments and ways of adapting.
  • How to modify the patient intake, assessment procedures, and treatment protocol.
  • How to identify any yellow flags that may be contraindications to treatment.
  • The medical side effects and the use of pain management for the palliative patient.
  • Advanced discussion of ethical and business implications surrounding palliative care.

Dexterity Professional Development submits courses for approval to regulatory colleges and associations across Canada. Timelines vary and courses are submitted on a rolling basis. As approvals are granted, this section is updated. Remember to check back often!

Certified Registered Massage Therapist Association (CRMTA) 1 Secondary Credit
Canadian Massage & Manual Osteopathic Therapists Association (CMMOTA) 1 CEC
Massage Therapist Association of Alberta (MTAA) 2 Primary Credits
Massage Therapy Association of Manitoba (MTAM) 2 Core Competency/Primary Credits
Massage Therapist & Wholistic Practitioners of the Maritimes (MTWPAM) 2 credit hours Primary / Category A
College of Massage Therapists of New Brunswick (CMTNB) 1 Category A Credit
College of Massage Therapists of Newfoundland & Labrador (CMTNL) 1 Category A Credit
Massage Therapists Association of Nova Scotia (MTANS) 1 Primary CEU
College of Massage Therapists of PEI (CMTPEI) 2 CCP Hours
PEI Massage Therapy Association (PEIMTA) 2 Category A Credits
L'Association des Naturopathes Professionnels du Québec (ANPQ) / L’Association des Naturothérapeutes du Québec (ANQ) / Regroupement des Massothérapeutes du Québec (RMQ) 2 Credits
Massage Therapist Association of Saskatchewan (MTAS) 2 Primary Credits
Natural Health Practitioners of Canada (NHPC) 5 CCP Credits
National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) 1 CE
New York Sponsored (NCBTMB) 1 CE

Under the CMTO’s new Quality Assurance Program (STRiVE), courses are no longer granted approval by the CMTO. It is up to the learner to demonstrate that a course is relevant to their learning goals and the STRiVE competencies. We have provided the description below to help the learner link the course to the STRiVE competencies. A course is often related to more STRiVE competencies than those listed.

The competencies below are established in the CMTO continuing education guidelines. This course addresses the competencies in many ways, including those described below.

Function in a client-centred manner. This course reinforces the importance of the pre-treatment assessment in a palliative treatment, particularly because a patient’s needs may differ throughout the course of illness and dying. Various pathologies are covered in depth to enable the RMT to select the appropriate treatment, make treatment modifications as necessary, and provide education and remedial exercises to the patient.

Apply the principles of sensitive practice. The palliativepatient may be particularly sensitive regarding appropriate therapeutic boundaries, and these boundaries may be different than with the general population. This course emphasizes the maintenance of appropriate physical and emotional boundaries with palliative patients. Conducting a comprehensive pre-treatment assessment and being particularly attuned to patient sensitivities and boundaries will help to ensure a treatment respectful of the individual patient.

Work within areas of personal knowledge and skills. This course provides the RMT with the opportunity to fill gaps in knowledge in order to effectively treat the palliative patient through all stages. This knowledge involves recognizing common primary complaints and making appropriate treatment modifications within the parameters of the RMTs scope of practice. Additionally, the course highlights high risk conditions where the limits of the RMTs scope of practice are reached, indicating the need to refer a patient to a medical doctor and/or collaborate with other medical professionals.

Use an evidence-informed approach in your work. This course was developed based on current evidence and research by an RMT experienced in the area of palliative massage therapy. The Dexterity PD promise is to evaluate every course on a biannual basis to ensure any developments or changes in the profession are reflected in course content. Thus, RMTs who take this course and adopt its recommendations can be assured that they are practicing in a manner consistent with current developments. A resource list is included in the downloadable guide to every course so that RMTs can conduct further research and/or confirm course findings. Any treatment recommendations are based on this research and the opinion and experience of the RMT who developed the course. All course content and recommendations have been evaluated by two additional RMTs to affirm the accuracy of the content. For more details, please see Our Quality Control Process.






Krystal Mayer-Raymond

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