Nearly every massage therapist will encounter ethical situations throughout their career. The key is knowing how to handle them.

By taking a home study course in massage therapy ethics, you are able to learn the moral and ethical principles that are commonly practiced throughout the profession–so when an ethical dilemma arises, you will be better prepared to handle the situation before you.

A home study course in massage ethics teaches you the guidelines to follow when it comes to personal contact with your clients, patient confidentiality and how to handle morally complex situations that might present themselves in your practice.

An Internet search showed numerous home study courses that are available for any massage therapist to take. The courses generally offered for massage therapy ethics include case management, practice management and client relationships.

In the case management classes, massage therapists learn topics that cover the essential aspects of communication, documentation and insurance billing for their practice, along with client intake, interviewing skills, obtaining medical release authorizations and informed consent, functional goal development, charting, insurance billing and documentation. 

The case management courses also include class sessions on handling sensitive medical documents. Many sensitive medical documents are handled within a massage practice because of the nature of the information passed between the client and therapist. Ethical standards regulate you to how you should handle this information.

For ethical practice management, students learn about local, state and federal requirements of massage therapy practices. The courses also include segments about business licensing, permits, insurance coverage and legal business relationships.

Home study class courses also discuss the client-therapist relationship. Because massage therapy involves touch therapy, massage ethics classes can teach you about what is and is not appropriate.

A home study course in massage ethics can be an ideal class to take through the Internet since hands-on testing and demonstrations aren’t required. The courses are typically based on book study; however, some do offer online interaction through message boards, which allows for discussion about ethical practices. Those discussions can be helpful for massage therapists, who can share their own personal experiences and how they deal with them.

In the home study courses, you will also learn about how state licensing boards and professional associations set professional codes of ethics and define standards of professional conduct.

Make sure to check with your national and state licensing bodies to make sure the courses you select are acceptable for continuing education credits.

–Jeremy Maready