Hospital Massage Therapy Stewardship Programme

Our Hospital Massage Therapy Stewardship Program will prepare you to provide safe, effective hospital-based massage therapy.


The Stewardship experience will support you in cultivating greater therapeutic presence, critical thinking, professional communication and greater familiarity with the reality of the difficult decisions facing patients and their families every day.

The curriculum includes:

  • medical terminology and documentation

  • cross contamination and PPE procedures and guidelines

  • contraindications and adaptations

  • body mechanics for the hospital setting

  • introduction to common meds and their effects

  • establishing therapeutic relationships

  • communication with physicians and other members of the team

  • working with the hospitalized patient

  • hands-on patient care on three units (ICU, inpatient rehabilitation and oncology)

The Stewardship consists of two modules. The first must be completed before stewards can proceed to the second.

Module 1:

Orientation to the Hospital Setting (21 hours)

The first module is presented by Healwell’s instructors and a handful of Virginia Hospital Center staff members.  In the first module we will address medical terminology, common situations and considerations as well as the donning and removal of Personal Protective Equipment and other precautions necessary to keep both patients and practitioners safe. The first module also involves an introduction to the hospital charting and medical records system. Each day of each module begins and ends with an opportunity to prepare/debrief and to explore how the coursework is affecting stewards. It is essential that stewards have all of the information and tools they will need to operate at Virginia Hospital Center like members of the staff. Stewards will attend hospital orientation with the other new staff members at the hospital to introduce them to the hospital’s policies, procedures and floor plan.

Module 2:

Clinical Rotations (42 hours)

The second module is a 6-day intensive practical experience with patients and families at Virginia Hospital Center. The course is taught by Lauren Cates and Lucille Eddy who developed the existing inpatient massage therapy program (established in 2005) at Virginia Hospital Center as well as the course curriculum.

Stewards will spend no less than 25 hours (often much more) in direct contact with patients and other health professionals in the hospital setting providing care in the ICU, acute rehabilitation and oncology units.  All of the course content is live.  We do not use simulators and simulated patient scenarios.  All of our practical course work is conducted with actual patients in real, acute medical situations.

The Breakdown

63 NCBTMB CE Units
(25+ hours working hands-on with patients in Acute Rehabilitation, ICU and Oncology)


Module 1: Orientation to the Hospital Setting (21 hours over 3 days):

  • charting

  • cross-contamination

  • familiarization with hospital room/equipment

  • working as part of a larger healthcare team


Module 2: Clinical Observation & Practice (42 hours over 6 days)

  • shadowing and team work  with instructors and fellow stewards as well as individual hands-on time

  • direct patient service with patients in oncology, inpatient rehabilitation and ICU

Are there tests or evaluations?


Healwell measures Stewards’ assimilation and integration of the experience and material through a variety of avenues.

The Stewardship experience is highly interactive. Stewards work closely with instructors and have an ongoing opportunity to receive feedback and participate actively in the learning process. This openness and the tools mentioned above allow faculty to provide the appropriate support, resources and mentorship to Stewards, as needed.  You will receive a certificate of attendance at the end of the course.


There are no written tests.

Hospital Massage Therapy Stewardship Programme

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Society of Oncology Massage 

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Thai Hospital Massage

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