Massage Therapy Programs Clinic Handbook

IV. Guidelines for Intern Behavior and Conduct

  • Dress Code and Professional Appearance
    • As an intern, you are expected to project the image and appearance of a well-groomed professional. Neatness and cleanliness are imperative. This standard extends especially to fingernail care. Clothes should be clean and neat in appearance and allow you to move comfortably as you perform massage.
    • The NWHSU Massage Therapy Programs uniform must be worn during all clinic rotations. This uniform consists of black Grey’s Anatomy scrub top and pants. Options include item numbers 4153, 4232, 103, 203. Appropriate underclothes must be worn in addition to professional the required uniform. Variation from this uniform, or choices that reveal your body inappropriately, will be grounds for dismissal from clinic for that shift.
    • Shoes should be professionally-appearing black street shoes with a low flat sole that allows you to move easily around the table, or black athletic shoes with little or no accent colors or ornamentation. Heels, sandals or other shoes with open or individual toes are not permitted Shoes must be worn at all times by massage interns in the clinic.
    • Bear in mind that with regard to attire, jewelry, piercings, and tattoos, clients’ values and various clinic settings may be more conservative than your own. In clinic, you will learn to present yourself in a professional and neutral manner whenever possible to provide a positive experience for as many clients as possible.
    • Hair should be clean and worn in a manner that will keep it from interfering with the massage (long hair must be held back by a clip or tie). Extraordinary hairstyles, such as mohawks, will not be permitted in the clinic setting.
    • Jewelry should be kept to a minimum and not interfere with the massage in any way. Rings are not permitted.
    • Up to three ear piercings are acceptable with minimal jewelry. One small facial piercing is acceptable, with the exception of those with large and obvious jewelry.
    • Depending on the nature of the body art visible to clients, you may be asked to cover your art during client interactions. This will be at your supervisor’s discretion. Keep in mind that body art & piercing tolerance differs from supervisor to supervisor; so one supervisor may allow you to display body art, while another supervisor asks you to cover it. Because of the many variations of piercings and body art, this issue will be handled on a case-by-case basis if it is not clearly addressed in this manual. In all cases, the supervisor's decision will stand.
    • Cologne/perfume and highly perfumed personal care products are not permitted. Likewise, arriving for a shift smelling of smoke or strong food odors is not permitted, as these smells may be offensive to clients, given the close nature of our work. Gum chewing in a professional office is not appropriate and is prohibited.
    • Nametags must be worn at all times. If you lose your name tag, inform your supervisor, and a replacement will be ordered. The cost of the replacement is $15, which you are responsible for.
    • Clinic faculty are responsible for assessing adherence to the dress and personal hygiene code and may impose sanctions for failure to do so. You may be asked to leave and change clothing if your dress or overall presentation is inappropriate.
    • In all matters related to the above topics, the supervisor’s decision will stand.
  • Professional Conduct
    • While in clinic, interns will engage in clinic-related activities only. If an intern has down time for any reason (client no-show or cancellation, or no client on his/her schedule), the clinic supervisor will assign the intern a clinic-related activity, such as helping the front desk with projects, giving chair massage in the lobby, researching massage-related material, etc. No texting, internet surfing, or other cell phone use will be allowed in clinic.
  1. Ethical Considerations

    Supervising faculty are bound by the NCBTMB code of ethics. As a clinic intern, you are expected to adhere to this code of ethics as well. Copies of this can be viewed on the NCBTMB Website.

    Additional ethical considerations:

    1. Confidentiality and Client Privacy

      While discussions of intern experiences with clients will happen during the course of instruction, names of massage therapy clients or details of massage sessions should not be discussed outside of the clinic.

    2. Client’s Well-Being

      It is the obligation of every intern to keep in mind that the foremost goal of providing care in the massage therapy clinic is the client’s well-being.

    3. Professional Boundaries

      Under no circumstances is it appropriate to have a personal (dating, friendship) relationship with a client you meet in the student clinic, unless you first end the therapeutic relationship; then that person can no longer be your client.

  2. Student Conduct

    Please refer to the Student Handbook for a detailed section regarding student conduct.