WSCC MEDIA RELATIONS
As Babs Herfurth thought of ways she might be able to help her students in Wallace State Community College’s Therapeutic Massage program improve their chances of passing the national certification exam, she decided to take the test herself.
Herfurth passed the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) administered test, which was not available when she was in school, and is now more aware of its level of difficulty and how intimidating students may find the experience to be.
“It gave me an idea of how they take the test,” Herfurth said. The wording of the test, the testing atmosphere and the restrictions the students face were all things she experienced herself so that she could take that back to her students.
To alleviate anxiety during the Board exam, she now sets up testing situations similar to the real thing. “I think that helped them to get prepared for the test,” she said.
Herfurth said all 12 of her students passed the exam this year, giving the program a 100 percent success rate, and all found jobs as massage therapists.
She has also had several former students discover through massage therapy an interest in Wallace State’s physical therapist assistant program and become dually trained.
Hands-on training is naturally a big part of the massage therapy program. With the aid of a muscle torso mannequin, students are able to see and touch the layers of muscle, bones and tissue that make up the human body before delving into clinicals. They can see how the manipulation of one area may affect the others.
“You can see the inner workings of the body and see how the outer muscles affect them,” Herfurth said.
The Therapeutic Massage program holds clinic hours each Monday, with one-hour massages offered at 8 a.m., 9:30, 11, 12:30 p.m., 2 and 3:30. Open to the public, fees for massages are $10 for students and employees of Wallace State and $20 for the general public.
For more information about the Massage Therapy program, contact Herfurth at 256-352-8425 or visit www.wallacestate.edu.