The Hospital-Based Massage Therapy Course prepares individuals for professional practice in hospital-based massage therapy.

The curriculum includes:

  • Medical terminology and documentation
  • Pathopharmacology
  • Working with the hospitalized patient
  • Establishing therapeutic relationships
  • Experiential learning series
  • Integrative medicine toolbox series
  • Specialty integrative medicine practices
  • Simulation learning environments

Course goals

Upon conclusion of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Translate the massage therapist's role as part of the integrative health care team into an acute care setting
  • Incorporate knowledge and skills of integrative health practices utilized by massage therapists in an acute care setting
  • Integrate the practical skills needed for the massage profession into a medical setting and apply them in an appropriate, safe, effective and compassionate manner with patients and health care staff
  • Describe the role and professional boundaries of a massage therapist in the health care environment
  • Demonstrate proper body mechanics and communication skills while providing massage therapy to patients
  • Apply hospital-based policies relating to safety and infection control

Didactic coursework

Module 1

The first of three modules is online in a Blackboard learning environment. It must be completed by course participants before the start of the second module.

This module includes an introduction to the world of integrative medicine in the health care setting, an introduction to the hospital environment, and content on medical terminology, medical documentation and pathopharmacology. It's estimated that this module will take approximately eight to 10 hours to complete depending on the learner's pace.

Module 2

The second module is a 40-hour intensive in-person learning experience held for one week (Monday through Friday) at Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota. Taught by Mayo Clinic staff with expertise in integrative medicine, this module focuses on the science of massage in a medical setting and tools for integrating massage into a medical setting.

Various aspects of integrative medicine are introduced to the participant. The course format is formal lecture along with hands-on learning opportunities to optimize the educational experience.

This week concludes with a unique experiential learning opportunity within the Mayo Clinic Multidisciplinary Simulation Center.


Module 3

The final module is an internship portion that is completed in a hospital setting at Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota, under the supervision of certified Mayo Clinic massage therapy staff. This module consists of 25 internship hours, which are completed at the learner's pace and based on the availability of supervising massage therapy staff.

Once accepted into the Hospital-Based Massage Therapy Course, learners are provided with a schedule of potential internship blocks.

Graduation and certification

Upon successful completion of the Hospital-Based Massage Therapy Course, you receive a certificate of completion from Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences.

Grading or evaluation

Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences uses these evaluative tools:

  • Written examination
  • Demonstration of skills
  • Self-assessment exercises
  • Faculty reviews

Mayo Clinic's system of evaluation provides students and faculty with a comprehensive look at individual performance. This allows faculty and administrative staff to direct students who are experiencing academic difficulty to the appropriate support resources, including tutoring programs and counseling opportunities.

Curriculum enhancements

Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences is committed to developing and maintaining the best education programs. The curriculum and other aspects of this course are assessed constantly and changed as necessary to ensure the highest quality training.

May 09, 2017