" I want to be able to treat clients with cancer, what should I look for in a course that offers specialist training in this area?"
Marc Innes from The Made for Life Foundation looks at some of the key considerations when choosing a course.
A training course should leave you feeling 100% confident in how to safely treat a client either living with cancer or in recent remission of the disease. It is useful to look for a company with experience and positive testimonials from spas, salons and cancer patients.
We have found that providing specific protocols for face, body, hands, feet and scalp is preferable to trying to adapt an existing spa treatment that is listed on the menu. As there are so many variants when it comes to cancer it is worthwhile training in a treatment that is suitable for as many different types of cancer as possible.
Clients often use a lot of jargon when referring to their cancer journey. Therapists can find it most useful to understand terms such as “stage 3”, “metastasis” and “SNLB” (sentinel lymph node biopsy) as just a few examples, look for a course that will help you learn this new “language”.
Accreditation is important to look for to ensure you can gain insurance. A UK based provider that offers continuous support once the course is completed is also good to look out for.
Whilst online training is great for keeping up to date with something you are already qualified in, face to face training is critical when learning something new that is as important and personal as this. Self-care for therapists is vital, learning a new skill and treating cancer sufferers can have an impact, this is very hard to understand and experience from just an online course.
While the effects of cancer and the medical treatments for the disease should obviously be covered in great detail, it is also important to focus on the emotional needs of the client to ensure that therapists offer a truly special treatment experience. It is great to learn some new consultation skills, including how to ask sensitive questions so the guest is completely comfortable during their time with the therapist.
A consultation template is a useful tool, as well as hints and tips for your front of house staff. Manuals to take home, along with detailed knowledge hand-outs, can prove an invaluable reference after you have attended a course.
A product range that is safe for use on compromised skin should ideally be included as part of the course, along with an explanation as to why certain ingredients should be avoided.
By taking into account these factors when choosing a specialist course it will ensure your investment is worthwhile. As therapists you are in the privileged position to be able to help those who need it most and it can be really rewarding for you personally as well as good for your business.