Massage therapists are required by health standards and professional ethics to provide a clean, hygienic, and safe environment for their clients. Therapists adopt standard sanitation procedures to prevent the spread of infectious disease. Sanitation protocols include therapist hygiene; the sanitation of the treatment room, equipment, and product containers; and general cleanness of the facility. In addition, therapists must also ensure safe conditions to prevent injury to themselves or clients. Safety protocols include fire and accident prevention plus proper planning should accidents occur.
This chapter focuses on the basics of disease transmission and prevention; practices for good therapist hygiene; sanitation of the facility, equipment, and products; universal precautions; and safety planning. Your health as a therapist and self-care activities are described in Chapter 11.
Having read the chapter and used the related student learning tools, the student will be able to:
- Define the word “disease” and describe three different types of diseases.
- Define the term “infectious agent” and differentiate among bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa, and animal parasites.
- Explain the specific ways in which an infectious agent can be transmitted through direct contact, indirect contact, vehicle transmission, and vector transmission.
- Exhibit good therapist hygiene and demonstrate proper handwashing techniques in a health care setting.
- Understand and identify health care situations in which universal precautions should be used.
- Define the term “safe environment” and list three ways to ensure client safety in a massage business.
- Compare and contrast the information on an accident report and incident report.
- Describe good client screening practices and explain how they promote the therapist’s safety.