Wednesday, December 18, 2013

What NOT to do if You Work in a Shared Clinic

"Mistakes are forgivable, if one has
the courage to admit them."

- Bruce Lee     

To Err...
In Your Clinic!

It is but normal to commit mistakes, we are human after all! Has there been anyone out there who is so perfect as not to err! Massage Therapists are no exception! So, have you ever screwed up royally? I do! And so has everyone in the field! My clients usually do not noticed that I just "oops" the treatment, and even if they do, I do not think they would kill me for it! My respect has always been there - I just zone out sometimes! If your intentions are sincere and you are honest to admit and apologize for the mistake, then all will be well! For all you know, you client might think that you have just added a new protocol in your usual routine!

But there are times though that I do make real mistakes! In some cases, those mistakes can be serious, and may cause harm to me or my clients!  They are all unintentional, and I am quite thankful that it does not result to any harm! Sometimes, though, my mistake do causes a momentary loss of pride - which I may say is really humbling - reminds me of who I am, and how I am NOT supposed to be! Here are some of my Oops-here-Oops-there moments and some of my honest excuses (I know! Excuses, excuses!):

1. Forgotten a client reservation!: I have a 9-o'clock, and I just woke up at 9-o'clock!  If you are a first time client, it could be a big turn-off, you may not reschedule - just cancel! I could not blame you for that. Thankfully, the few sessions I do forget are those of the regular ones! I was forgiven, happened twice, two separate clients!  So I decided to subscribe to an online booking service that texts, emails and sends me calendar reminders of every upcoming bookings! Solved! It's MassageBook! I would not mind mentioning their company here! Service is great and so is the price!

2. Neglected the need to have a break!: Like 5-15 minutes between clients! My mistake! It led to number 3!

3. Zoned-out in the middle of the session!: Well, it was my 6th or 7th client for the day, some of them an hour-and-a-half! I was sleepy, hungry and/or tired! Fully booked, and there is no way to reschedule clients! So I zoned-out in the middle of one or two of the treatment for a few moments and yawned about a dozen times! Probably lose my sequence a few times, probably have skipped a body area, probably cut some areas short, probably have done a different protocol on each side of my client's body, or probably used too much oil! Probably is all I can say - I zoned-out! Advice to my clients: ask your therapists or the receptionists how many clients are there before you for the day! You may want to be in the first 3! We massage therapists, no matter how much years of training or experience are just as much biological beings as you and anyone else - we can hit a wall!

4. Walked the wrong client in to my treatment room! Embarassing! Well, there is just so much names in this small world, that some of them are bound to be the same! Good thing I was not doing nursing at that time! But still, I could have double checked! Enough said!

5. Gave the wrong service to a client! My client wants Sports massage - I gave deep tissue! She did not say a word! Deep Tissue is what it says on the reservation! It was a truly honest communication gap between the front desk and me! As it turned-out the client does not really know what she is looking for in a massage! She booked a sustained appointment with me for 6-months for the exact same massage that I mistakenly given her - deep tissue! She still is my loyal following, and she still loves deep tissue! What do you think about that?

6. Used the wrong aromatherapy essence/ cocktail, or the wrong emollient!:  My client wants a soothing mix of calming lavender and clary sage! I wholeheartedly indulged her in a invigorating concoction of orange and patchouli! Many clients are quite educated in Aromatherapy, I am so glad that she is not one of them! Turns out she was just making an educated guess of what she feels like having for that day! And as for emollients: I never used anything that has a greasy after-feel, so my clients really cannot tell whether I used lotion or cream on them - same ingredients, same brand - just two different consistency! In either case, I do apologize in the end of the session and I then give them a free gift certificate for an add-on for the next session!

7. Took-over somebody else's treatment room assignment!: Somebody took mine, there are 9 therapists, and there are 9 rooms! I have got to take a room for my very next client! So I took the next available one!  My!- how the front desks got pissed at me! Lesson: Communicate, communicate, communicate! Kind of like looking before you leap into somebody else's room!

8. Forgotten to warm my lotion/ my hands!: Just washed my hands, they are cold. I just refilled my lotion from a cold stock from a cold storage room! I was able to see and feel the goose bumps on my clients skin as soon as my hands and the lotion came in contact with them! I decided to buy a lotion warmer from the Massage Warehouse! Again, I would not mind mentioning their company here. I think every massage therapists should have one if their hands get cold like mine do!

9. Used somebody else's stock in the treatment room, forgotten to replace them!: I think she did not speak to me for a week or so, and things were never the same since then. It was never a habit, I was just experiencing number 3 above!  Oh, did I mention that everybody in our wellness clinic hates her? The mistake: don't mess with the evil one whose only purpose in life is to destroy somebody else's! Believe me, I am not exaggerating!

10. And here, the last one, I am saving for the worst! Do NOT ever, never have a dual relationship with a client! You can lose business, friends, and yes - even self-respect. I learned the hard way - and I have NO excuse for this one... just regrets!

I do believe that if you are a Massage Therapist, you can relate to at least one or two of these! If not, then... can you be my mentor? How I would love to trade sessions with you! Seriously now, to err is human you would not disagree on that. In spite of our short comings, I think what really matters most in every massage session we give is our sincere intention to provide a therapy that suites our clients' need or goal!

- Leo Feraer-Oporto     

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