Chairperson Spring Message

By Michelle McKerron

What does the term ‘spring clean’ mean to you?

I have been inundated on social media and through emails from various companies for the last month telling me how their product will help me spring into cleanliness. When you live with the amount of people I do – not to mention the birds, bats and possums outside our place – you’ll understand how appealing getting everything ‘cleaned up’ sounds. If someone knows of a quick and easy way to get rid of the ongoing spiders-and-their-webs issue that I have, please let me know.

I’ve done some bits and pieces around the place and it’s looking a bit fresher, and, Marie Kondo style, I have managed to get rid of some of the bigger messes hanging around, trying their best to be ignored. It’s been quite exhilarating.

One job I have put off for – actually I don’t actually want to admit any timeframe – is checking out my first aid kit.

When was the last time you did a stocktake of your first aid supplies?

We are all aware of the need to renew our qualifications but what happens if we are faced with a real emergency? The knowledge is invaluable but a really handy companion is a well-stocked first aid kit.

To start with, I built a veritable mountain out of the first aid kits that I have collected over the years. I recently booked my re-certification course for next month and realised that I will have now completed 8 first aid courses over my journey in massage therapy. Because I haven’t checked what’s in my old kit before each of these necessary learning days, I have needlessly purchased new, handy sized ones at each course.

I’m not the only one using the contents of our first aid kit. There are many fingers in that pie! This means, of course, that there are plenty of empty wrappers and no band-aids left.

I also have many, many bandages. I could set up a small market stall just selling bandages: crepe, triangular, compression, tube, and twice as many (I have no idea how) of those little spiky elasticised clasps. Nothing like sticking a spiky thing into an injured area…

My sterile wipes were shrivelled, out-of-date pieces of sandpaper, the discovery of which resulted in me sitting with a cup of tea to ponder my personal ideas around using alcohol on open wounds. Obviously, I then tallied up my saline and realised that I had exactly none.

There were no island dressings either. I feel like that’s a real 90s salad reference as opposed to a credible first responder tool.

There were enough gloves to run a CSI unit, and I now have cotton tip applicators coming out of my ears. Not to mention a crazy number of safety pins that far outweighs any possible scenario in which they might be needed.

I’ve chucked out some burn gel that was out of date and I’m also still not sure of my opinion on that stuff. I’ve kept the face shields and pray I never have to use one.

I’ve also kept the antiseptic cream and the small packets of tissues and the I-pad (my joke for the kids) – I mean eye pads.

Most excitingly, I now have 5 pairs of really sharp scissors that I will genuinely put to good use.

It nearly got to the point where someone might have found me in the corner sobbing under a space blanket (sorry, an emergency thermal blanket). Thanks to the small booklet included in most of these kits, I was able to navigate my way through not only a necessary culling, but also the crucial re-stocking. Funnily enough, of all the items in my first aid kit, I was not expecting to have to reorder splinter probes (those things used to remove a splinter).

Even though it was a bit of a pain, I am glad that the process of the ‘spring clean’ unfolded as it did, especially considering my desperate need to stock up at training days.

For each of us as AMT members, the spring clean may look very different. When was the last time you looked in your filing cabinet or checked the pumps of your oil bottles (gee, can they get grotty!) or observed how many spiders and their webs are under your massage table?

AMT is spring cleaning too …

AMT first introduced continuing education as an ongoing requirement in 1994. That makes our continuing education scheme 25 years old this year – older than some AMT members! For most of its existence, the CEU scheme has essentially been based around the requirement to complete at least 100 “points” every year. Well, all that is set to change in 2020 as AMT hurtles into the 21st century and rolls out a brand new system.

Over the past year, AMT’s Education Committee has been working on a new professional development scheme. It acknowledges the massive industry changes that have occurred since the CEU scheme was established all those years ago, building more flexibility and self-determination into how every individual member of AMT manages their ongoing professional development.

Don’t panic! You will be gently transitioned into the new system throughout 2020 when your renewal is due, so your current CEU points will remain valid until your new membership year commences.

Please stay tuned for further announcements via email and social media. We will soon be releasing a guide that explains how the new system will work, including FAQs and other supporting resources. In the meantime, we have written a position statement that gives a broad outline of the scheme. I encourage you to read it.

We’re really excited about this overdue bit of CE spring cleaning and look forward to building a more supportive and meaningful way of engaging with the professional development of AMT members.

About the Author

Michelle McKerron is currently representing AMT members in the role of Chairperson of the Board of Directors. It’s a role she takes seriously because, as a Massage Therapist herself, she knows what it’s like to be working in the industry, and wants to encourage members to continue the tradition that AMT holds in standing up for excellent massage therapy in Australia.

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