Massage therapy students at Minnesota School of Business-Rochester (MSB) realize how much they benefit from completing service learning projects every quarter, not just how much clients benefit from them. But students in the Pregnancy/Special Populations class weren’t really sure what to expect going into their project, which recently took place at Madonna Towers in Rochester, Minn.
For a few weeks, students learned about the geriatric population. This includes a group of people that are 65 years of age or older. They are considered a “special population” due to a number of factors such as age, skin condition, health, etc. Students knew they would be giving chair massages to the residents, but didn’t know much else about any of the clients until they arrived to the location.
As the students prepared to leave for Madonna Towers, Linda Howton, a recent massage therapy graduate, said, “My emotions about going to Madonna Towers went from happy and excited to nervous and sad. The service learning project, no matter what, would be a good experience for me. Who knows, maybe I could enjoy it.”
All of the students left with a new appreciation for the reason that we have them do these projects.
“Fellow students didn’t realize until we started covering this population in class how appreciative they are to receive massage, because often they are forgotten about,” said adjunct massage instructor, Stephanie Copeman. “They also realized the potential for employment with this client base.”
Students really had moments of clarity and appreciation for this project:
“With these new understandings and realizations, I hope to move forward with a few opportunities in working with geriatrics that I’ve put on the back burner because of fear. I realize that this is something close to my heart and that can mean a world of difference in the life of another in multiple ways.” –Crystal Katula, MSB massage therapy student
“I found that though I may have touched multiple clients, I was the one who walked out of those doors feeling more ‘touched’ than any on whom I laid my hands. I was truly humbled and honored to take part in this service learning project.”–Linda Howton, MSB massage therapy graduate and service-learning award recipient
“The experience was overall a very good one. The clients were very pleasant and were not afraid to tell us about their ailments. I was surprised by how upbeat they all were and I loved their stories.” –Jen Dodge, MSB massage therapy student
Let MSB-Rochester know if you enjoy giving back to those in need by contacting the campus at 507-536-9500.