LCC Provides Massage Students With Real-Life Experience

Lansing Community College

Lansing Community College Is Raising The Bar On Massage Therapy Education

Lansing Community College Massage Therapy Program

LCC is a community college in central Michigan. They’ve been educating students for nearly 50 years. Their massage therapy program graduates approximately 30 students a year, with program start dates in August and January.

Getting hands-on experience as a massage therapy student is vital to preparing them for the workplace and practicing with other students in the classroom is not enough. That’s why in the second semester, massage therapy students at LCC do three 8-week rotations in the student clinic. Working in the clinic, students provide anything from full-body relaxation massage to targeted treatments.

The school didn’t always have a student clinic. There was a time when students had to bring in their own “volunteer” clients to complete this portion of their education, but that all changed in 2007.

In 2007, LCC instituted a student clinic to serve the community and provide a place of internship for their students. The student clinic operates just like any other massage business. People call to make an appointment and are treated by massage therapy students for just $35. This part of students' education prepares them to succeed by providing real work experience as a massage therapist.

Using Technology To Simulate Real-World Scenarios

When instructor Jodi Wiley started teaching at LCC, the calendar at the student clinic was out of control. They used a paper scheduling system. When a client called to schedule an appointment, whoever answered the phone would scribble down the details. With a constantly rotating staff of students cycling through the clinic, it wasn’t always organized.

Using software for charting and scheduling would keep the student clinic running smoothly. Plus, students needed to learn how to use booking and charting software. The places where students will eventually get jobs use the software.

“It’s our job to prepare them for a real-life successful career, so why wouldn’t we use ClinicSense.”

The school now uses ClinicSense to run their student clinic, as well as in the classroom. The software allows clients to book appointments online. Then, students use the software to review intake and medical history forms, as well as to create SOAP notes after treatment. They use ClinicSense with real clients in the clinic, and mock clients for homework assignments. 

Thanks to ClinicSense, all the practice they’re getting in school mimics the real work they’ll be doing after they graduate. Having already used software to create general SOAP notes, Professor Wiley believes the clinical soap note ClinicSense offers is great for preparing students to work in any setting: spas, clinics, medical centers, rehab centers or private practice. Learning their new company’s system will be much easier with this experience.

The Software

When the idea of using software to run the student clinic was proposed, there was some pushback from some instructors. However, the reality is that paper notes and physical appointment books are a thing of the past. Everything is going digital. Wherever their students work in the future, they’ll use software - not paper.

Choosing a software program at a college is a BIG deal and a long process. The process involves a search committee and several months.

“It was 2016 when we started using ClinicSense. ClinicSense was the first and is the only software we’ve used to manage our student clinic.”

Students learn how to use ClinicSense in the first semester when learning basic charting before they ever step foot in the clinic. The software allows them to simulate the real-life experience of working as a massage therapist in the classroom. Plus, it’s streamlined operations at the student clinic.

In 2023, LCC went back through the lengthy process of choosing clinic management software for their massage therapy program. This time they had a bigger budget. Despite having the funds for a more expensive program, ClinicSense still proved to be the best option and their choice for their students.

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