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January 19, 2009

Buy Quality Equipment

In Cardiopulmonary class the instructor suggested we get ourselves a stethoscope. He recommended the Littmann lightweight II SE. In the past, we've had the opportunity to check out stethoscopes from the Learning Resource Center for lab activities. Thus began my odyssey into frustration. Besides being light blue and looking like they came straight out of a Playskool box, I had a great deal of difficulty hearing anything out of those stethoscopes whenever I used them.

I decided to invest in a real stethoscope, because it is likely that I will work in acute care and will need to monitor the breathing and heart rate of my patients when I get them out of their hospital beds. My husband, the bargain finder, located this stethoscope, which was listed $72 at our campus book store, for much cheaper with free shipping. Voila! Using them is like night and day compared to the ones at school. It pays to have quality tools.

So why is this important for massage therapists? First of all, the quality tool idea translates to other aspects of massage therapy, especially your table purchase. I know there is a massage therapy table available at Costco or Sam's club. Do you really expect that massage table to withstand daily professional practice? Invest in a good quality table that has a warranty should something go awry.

Also, every massage therapist is looking for a way to set themselves apart from the rest of their peers. It's why we take continuing education and focus on a specialty. If you want to be part of your client's health care team, you may want to offer blood pressure checks as a value added service to your massage. It is important if you detect hypertension in your clients that you refer them to their physician. You could also explain that you are trying to collect data about the effects of massage on blood pressure by taking measurements before and after the massage. Finally, any client-reported hypertension is a yellow flag for massage therapists to caution their clients about getting off the table slowly to avoid dizziness due to low blood pressure and to avoid the risk of falling. Having a blood pressure monitor available in this event would be helpful in protecting your client's safety and prevent a potential lawsuit.

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Posted by linda at January 19, 2009 8:21 AM

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