After graduating from a massage college in St. Petersburg, FL, people are excited to begin their new careers. Unfortunately, for professional massage therapists, COVID-19 got in the way. Granted, this isn't unique for massage therapy. Many professionals and businesses were temporarily unable to operate even at a limited capacity. With states and cities beginning to reopen, life and work still haven't truly returned to normal. Adjustments have to be made moving forward to prevent the spread of coronavirus and to protect both massage therapists and their clients.
Personal Protective Equipment
Masks are part of the professional life these days, but they're part of public life as well. UPS facilities, grocery stores, and doctors' offices are requiring masks to be worn. The Department of Health also recommends wearing a mask, so it's expected at spas, salons, and other locations. While N95 masks and KN95 masks may not be readily available in all areas, surgical masks and cloth masks are. Additionally, medical-grade gloves can be used to protect yourself and your clients. These are sometimes called surgical-type gloves. Patrons are encouraged to wear masks as well. They should wear masks throughout the facility and while awaiting services. They may be permitted to remove masks when receiving services but must wear masks at all other times.
Social distancing is common practice now, so your staff and customers should be quite accustomed to it. Patrons should be encouraged to wait in their cars until it's time for their appointment. If they do wait in the waiting area, the facility needs to be properly cleaned and social distancing maintained. The customers must remain at least six feet apart from one another. Spacing may be indicated with signs or by putting markers on the floor. When possible, encourage customers to use contactless payment and to schedule appointments online.
Staff should be checked for temperature and other signs of COVID-19. If they feel ill or have noticed symptoms at home, the staff member must let their supervisors know. The employee should contact their local health department for an assessment. Testing is necessary to confirm whether or not the illness is the coronavirus. As long as they are feeling ill, they should not return to work, even if the illness turns out to not be due to COVID-19.
Maintaining clean facilities, proper hygiene, and procedures for ensuring client safety, and disease prevention have been a cornerstone of professional massage therapy for years. With the coronavirus, vigilance is needed now more than ever before. When reopening and returning to regular practice, protections for staff and clients have to be kept in place. For instance, when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, it's essential that you use a disinfectant that has been approved for use against COVID-19. Homemade cleaning products are not approved. There are both commercial and household-grade products that have been approved and should be available locally.
Clean your floors with EPA-approved floor cleaners and keep surfaces free from clutter. Ensure that sanitizer is readily available for your clients when they enter the waiting area. Encourage your patrons to use the hand sanitizer that is provided. Wipe down frequently touched surfaces as often as possible. This includes door handles and other surfaces that people frequently contact.
Preventing the spread of coronavirus requires everyone to do their part. Contact Cortiva Institute Massage Therapy & Skin Care School at (954) 975-6400 to learn more. If you want to learn more about our programs and massage therapy certification cost in St. Petersburg, FL, give us a call.