Where Do You Work? Massage in Hospice Care



Find out how Kathleen Clayton's background as a massage therapist has helped shape her career as a hospice nurse.

What drew you to the profession?

I was originally looking for a profession where I could be independent and my own boss, so I became a massage therapist in 1980. In 1982, I became an AMTA member. Joe Ferguson and Pat Donahue were two of my mentors. As I progressed through my career, AMTA had a profound effect on me and my maturity. 

Where do you find education?

Before there was an Associate's program, I took most of my classes through AMTA. Attending AMTA's National Conventions allowed me to engage in hands-on and other learning opportunities, as well as giving me a place to discuss the issues facing our profession. When I was young, AMTA kept me on the right course, and as I developed and gained experience as a massage therapist, AMTA's continuing education opportunities kept me up-to-date and current in the profession.

What is your current work setting like?

I am currently a hospice nurse at Casa de la Luz in Tucson, Arizona. I enjoy being able to teach family members that it is okay to touch and hold their loved ones, as well as providing that care to the patient myself. I continue to keep in touch with my massage colleagues and stay informed by remaining an AMTA member so I can perform massage if I need to. This week, I am working with the VA hospital to provide massage for a client with post-traumatic stress disorder.

One sentence of advice?

Get as much overall experience and education as you can to develop your skill level and technique.

For more information on working in a health care environment, please visit the career guidance section of our website.

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"AMTA and my chapter have already given me back so much that I cannot believe I ever considered another group."

Chris B., AMTA member since 2012

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AMTA has long been the leading choice among massage therapists looking to establish themselves within the profession. We provide our members with the strongest benefits and promote massage therapy to the public and health care community.

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