This year has been full of upheaval, especially for those who lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, out of upheaval can come new opportunities, and many are considering this a good time to pursue studies for a new career.
That is why Kelowna’s First College wants the public to know that it has started a brand new Registered Massage Therapy program at its campus in downtown Kelowna. This program gives people who are looking for work, or who are simply seeking a career change, the opportunity to get into the industry.
RMT Students with Instructor Kylagh Cornford, RMT BHSc
“We are the only college in Kelowna to offer this program,” First College director Timothy Yang says. “A career for an RMT can be very lucrative, and the demand in B.C. is increasing annually. The hourly rate of an RMT in B.C. can be up to $110 per hour.”
The first cohort of RMT students started the program in September, and another is scheduled to begin in January 2021. First College’s classes, which are capped at 20 students, are an advantage during the pandemic. This allows classes to be held in person while complying with recommendations set out by the provincial health officer.
Registered massage therapists in B.C. are trained to evaluate health needs, provide an assessment of specific soft tissue or musculoskeletal conditions, predict the likelihood and/or timeline of recovery, provide active or passive hands-on therapy, and to provide evidence-based patient education and remedial exercises.
First College offers a two-year diploma program that includes both academic and hands-on learning.
“The 2,800-hour curriculum is comprehensive and prepares the students for careers as RMTs,” says program director Dr. Danielle Morgan, D.C. “Successful completion of an RMT program then allows students to be eligible to complete the board examinations held by the College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia.”
The student massage clinic at First College will open its doors in April 2021, and practical director, Lindsey Sloan, is excited to bring this service to the local community. The student clinic allows the general public to come for massage therapy services from a student therapist at a fraction of the cost.
Most extended health plans recognize and cover registered massage therapy treatments, as well as BC Medical, ICBC, RCMP, Veteran’s Affairs and WorkSafeBC. RMTs have the flexibility to work in various clinical settings alongside other health professionals, or become entrepreneurs and start their own clinic.
First College is now accepting applications for its January 2021 intake.
Picture from Left to right: Cecily Qiu, BA, MA - Student Advisor; Lindsey Sloan, RMT - Faculty of RMT Practical Director; Kylagh Cornford, RMT BHSc - Faculty of RMT Practical Instructor; Dr. Danielle Morgan, D.C. - Faculty of RMT Program Director; Timothy Yang, BMgt - Director of First College; Sydney Stoltz, B.A. - Admissions Advisor; Jessie Zhang, B.S. - IT Department Coordinator & Student Service Assistant