Just do it! NHS Certificate in Complementary Therapy (Cancer Pathway) With the aim of gaining practical experience as a complementary therapist in a cancer-care setting, I found my way to the Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Cancer Centre in Harrogate where the first NHS Natural Therapy School is based, for the 12 week program leading to the NHS Certificate in Complementary Therapy (Cancer Pathway). This program offered an unique opportunity to learn and work within a professional, supportive and caring team, to NHS standards, while helping people during their cancer treatments, their carers, and patients on wards in the main hospital, through the power of touch – in my case, aromatherapy massage. The required medical and professional standards were obviously very high, and I was a bit daunted at first. There was a lot to learn about professional standards in the NHS, about the many forms of cancer and how these impact on people and how to tailor treatments to individual circumstances and the constraints of being on a hospital ward. However, as experiences go, this was probably one of the most rewarding professional and human experiences I have had, if not the most. Underpinning this was the expert and ongoing coaching and guidance from Gwyn Featonby, who leads the program, and support from Beverly Harrison and the wider team, which was invaluable. “Light touch” but the right touch. Also, the chance to work with and learn from fellow therapists was an added bonus. Through evidence-based practice, it was satisfying to see positive results for patients. Being accepted by medical professionals as part of the wider team supporting patients was amazing. So, if I have any advice for anyone considering embarking on this journey, it would be to “just do it”!
There are so many complementary therapy courses available, so choosing a course that will help you to feel ready for practice is essential. Our focus is not just on the theory learning, we understand that to prepare you for your career, the right level of practical experience is essential. We offer introductory courses, foundation level and accredited Diplomas. For qualified therapists we have a range of continuing professional development (CPD) courses to increase skills, knowledge and evidence based practice. Training within an NHS school prepares you for practice with a wide range of clients and helps you to gain a thorough understanding of how disease and medicine can impact on your practice, maximising benefits while minimising risk.
All of our diploma courses are accredited by ITEC (International Therapies Examinations Council) and meet the requirements of the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF). This means that our courses fulfil the requirements set within the National Occupational Standards, but go far beyond that. Our graduates are trained to the standard required to allow them full membership of the CNHC and FHT, both approved by the Professional Standards Agency to hold a register of approved practitioners, vital for those wanting to work within the complementary therapies industry.