How Well Do You Know the AMT Code of Practice?

By Michelle McKerron

Welcome! Welcome to your favourite game show where only the bravest choose to face the test, the smartest live to see another bout, and the well-read continue on in the competition.

In the much anticipated first round of How to Be a Thoroughly Excellent Massage Therapist, we’re testing you on our phenomenal and highly-acclaimed set of standards found in the one and only AMT Code of Practice (the Code).

Please use your best handwriting; we are marking your answers.

Nope, just kidding. But why not grab your copy of the Code to have it as a handy reference while you play?

But now, let’s enjoy finding out what you do or don’t know as we delve into the nitty gritty of some of our industry regulations, the fun way. Hands on buzzers!

How many pages are there in the AMT Code of Practice?

(Don’t worry, not all the questions are this hard!)

Answer: (currently) 72 pages.

The reason why this document is so long is that, amongst other things like the blood, sweat and tears, and years, put into it, it displays how seriously AMT takes our place in not only the industry but the Australian health care system.

The practice of massage therapy is the systematic assessment and treatment of the muscles, tendons, ligaments and connective tissues of the body to:

(a) maintain, rehabilitate or augment physical function

(b) relieve pain

(c) prevent dysfunction,

(d) enhance health and promote wellness

(e) all of the above

Answer: (e)

Yes! How fantastic that this is our scope of practice. Please see here in the Code for more info and to reacquaint yourself with the broad array of conditions we can treat.

One of the benefits of having professional boundaries is ensuring that the interaction between client and therapist is based on plans and outcomes that are therapeutic in intent. True or False?

Answer: True.

But that’s only one benefit of having professional boundaries. How about the implications of developing feelings for a client? Receiving gifts from clients? Your social media interactions with clients? Maybe even whether mates rates are appropriate?

It’s really important to have thought through this topic and there are so many more ideas to consider within the Code.

Appropriate draping is necessary in a massage treatment because:

(a) it ensures client security

(b) it provides privacy

(c) it keeps the client warm or cool

(d) all of the above.

Answer: d) all of the above.

See the Code for more information. A point of interest to note is that ‘Draping protocols must be reviewed as skill sets broaden’. So, this part of the Code is for every therapist no matter how long they have been massaging.

A signed consent form is unarguable proof that the client has been adequately informed. True or False?

Answer: False.

Did the client know everything you have planned for this session when they signed that form on their first visit (when seeing a former colleague) 3 years ago? Or did the client know that you had recently increased your prices? Did your client fully understand that when they mentioned that ‘niggle in the hamstring/quad’ halfway through the session, you’d make it your mission to fix that straight away? Check out the Code for clarification on the principles of consent. It’s important stuff for those of us eager to maintain conscientious, efficient and legal standards in practice.

Think You Know The Code?

What a journey in just 5 questions! Now it’s time for some self-reflection. Ask yourself:

  • Did I know the answers to most of these questions? (If so, great!)
  • Did I know the background to these points?
  • Was it helpful to re-visit this information?
  • What else could I be missing if I’ve only read to page 32 now that I know there are 40 or so more pages of gold nuggets to find?

Before You Go

A very sincere shout out of thanks to the people who played a major role in getting these codes written – Rebecca Barnett, Tamsin Rossiter, Desley Scott, Alan Ford and Linda Hunter.

It should go without saying that this is clearly one of the most handy pieces of documentation you could have in your clinic, because even though we are ‘hands on’ in our practice, we are also proud of the way we present ourselves in our workplaces.

Thank you for playing How to Be a Thoroughly Excellent Massage Therapist. Stay tuned for more exciting instalments.

About the Author

Michelle McKerron is a wife, mum of four, massage therapist and manager of a small clinic in Sydney’s south. She doesn’t get bored often. Michelle enjoys watching the AMT membership engage, become mobilised and empowered by the communication capabilities found in social media pages, like this blog. Michelle is also the Chairperson of AMT.

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  1. This is good refresher time.
    Obvious code of conduct …yes, but a good reminder nonetheless.

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