Are You Ready for OM3/4?
Becoming an OM4 Therapist, and being qualified to work in a hospital environment, is not for everybody. Working as an OM4 Therapist can be very rewarding, but it can also be confronting and draining. That being the case, not every OM2 Therapist wants to become an OM4 Therapist. And not every OM2 Therapist is suited to becoming an OM4 Therapist.
Registration for the OML OM3/4 Program requires a significant investment in time and money by both the student and the Program Facilitators. OML seeks to ensure that every OM2 Therapist that proceeds to the OM3/4 Program has the temperament and wisdom (or attitudes, behaviours, skills and knowledge) to become an effective OM4 Therapist.
In order to achieve this, OML has developed a number of selection criteria that we feel captures the most important attributes of a successful OM4 graduate and effective OM4 Therapist.
The successful OM3/4 student must have successfully completed OM2 (or an OM2 Refresher) in the past 2 years.
The successful OM3/4 student must be self aware. They must:
- Be honest with themselves
- Know why they want to become an OM4 Therapist
- Be aware of their strengths and weaknesses
- Know how to look after themselves (both physically and emotionally)
The successful OM3/4 student must be compliant. They must:
- Stay within the OML scope of practice
- Follow hospital protocols without question
- Be vaccinated to the level required
- Have impeccable personal hygiene
- Know how to behave and dress appropriately
The successful OM3/4 student must be considerate. They must:
- Be respectful
- Be compassionate
- Be mindfully present
- Be non-judgemental
- Respect patient/client privacy (ie, Australian Privacy Principles)
The successful OM3/4 student must be co-operative. They must:
- Be punctual and reliable
- Be self-motivated
- Actively listen and be able to take direction
- Have effective oral and written communication skills
- Be able to work effectively with people from many different backgrounds
The successful OM3/4 student must be committed. They must:
- Know their stuff, having revised their previously completed theory and practice
- Complete all required pre-reading and activities
- Complete homework and revision while on-course
- Keep their knowledge of theory and practical skills up-to-date
- Be prepared to seek feedback, ask questions, and seek answers.
Our previous OM4 graduates have made the following suggestions to help ensure that you get the most of the OM3/4 Program:
- Make sure that you have been actively working with cancer clients and have confidence in your OM2 hands-on skills, and your foundation techniques and pressures - make sure that you have confidence in your communication with cancer clients, including using appropriate terminology - OM3/4 should not be used to gain this confidence - if you have any concerns, consider some coaching from one of our facilitators, a Mini Tutorial, or an OM2 Refresher
- Make sure that you leave adequate time for preparation before you attend the OM3 and OM4 courses - in that way, you will be able to get the most out of them
- Think twice about staying with family and/or friends during the course, or at least make it clear that you may not be the most sociable of house guests. The program is demanding and it can be confronting - there are out of hours assessments, as well as homework and revision each day
- Try to find accommodation as close as you can to the OM3 & OM4 training venue. You probably don’t want to be commuting in an unfamiliar environment when there are early starts and sometimes late finishes
- Make sure that you leave adequate time for reflection and refraction after you attend the OM3 & OM4 courses - the courses can be physically and emotionally draining so think twice about going back to work immediately after you finish - in that way, you can relax, repair, and then resume your massage practice with renewed vigour and determination.
How much practical experience do I need before I can be considered for OM3 & OM4?
OML would generally like to see a minimum 6-12 months of hands-on full-time experience with at least 30 cancer clients before we would consider OM3 & OM4 applications. Acceptance onto the in-hospital program is also dependent on the practitioner's performance in the OM2 assessments and their course participation. OM3 & OM4 is rigorous and can be confronting, pushing therapists out of their comfort zone in an environment with which they are often not familiar. Experience and confidence in your oncology massage skills is essential before undertaking this training.
When will the next OM3/4 Courses be delivered?
In recent times, OML has run the OM3/4 Courses at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre at the Austin Hospital in Melbourne. Currently, OML is negotiating a new agreement with them, as well as planning their delivery at the Chris O'Brien Lifehouse in Sydney. We will keep you informed.
Last Updated: 14/May/2019