When the opportunity arose for Humber College students in both the Massage Therapy and Traditional Chinese Medicine programs to provide a day of pampering and treatment for Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre nurses, they jumped at the chance.
On Wednesday, May 11, Humber in partnership with Sunnybrook offered a Nursing Wellness Experience to say thank you to the hospital’s nurses, particularly for all their hard work and service over the difficult past few pandemic years. Nurses were invited to select a therapeutic treatment of either acupuncture or massage therapy that was provided free of charge, followed by a scenic wellness walking tour through the Humber Arboretum.
It coincided with National Nursing Week, which was celebrated May 9 to 15 this year.
The college’s Massage Therapy program has a partnership with Sunnybrook where students are sent to the hospital in seven-week rotations to provide support to patients in the mental health unit where they also get an opportunity to experience what it’s like to work in a hospital setting.
Katherine Sansom, a placement officer with the Massage Therapy Program, said when she heard about the idea of hosting a wellness experience for the nurses, she immediately thought it was a great way to give back as a thank you for everything they’ve done during the pandemic.
“This is a group of health-care workers who have been pushed to their limits the last two years, so we wanted to give them an opportunity to truly relax and let go. Everything they’ve done is appreciated and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.”
Geneviève Mailloux, a professor and program coordinator with the Massage Therapy program, said their first interprofessional clinic with the Traditional Chinese Medicine program was an excellent experience for the students. With the semester over, participating students came on their own time to provide therapy for the nurses while also gaining some valuable hands-on experience outside of class.
“They truly volunteered their time to give back,” said Mailloux.
Kayla Neves, a Massage Therapy student, took part in the event. She got involved to show her appreciation for the nurses, gain some additional real-world experience and to collaborate with her peers in the Traditional Chinese Medicine program.
“The main focus was to give back…to the nurses who have fought COVID long and hard. They deserved all the special treatment in the world,” said Neves.
Neves provided 75-minute treatments that included a 15-minute assessment followed by a 60-minute full body massage using various techniques at different depths throughout the session.
A common refrain from both the faculty who were involved in planning and organizing the wellness experience, and participating students is that they hope to make it an annual event going forward.
“I would love to do another clinic like this in the future,” said Neves.