Longtime Nurse Moves On To Massage Therapy

At work

At Work: Jean Wible, Massage Therapy Program Coordinator, Community College Of Baltimore County

Faculty And Student Clinic Coordinator Instructs At Ccb's Essex Campus

November 15, 2009|By Nancy Jones Bonbrest | Nancy Jones Bonbrest,Special to The Baltimore Sun

Salary: $60,000

Age: 52

Years on the job: 1.5 years

How she got started: Jean Wible graduated with a degree in nursing from Marywood University in Pennsylvania. She worked as a nurse for more than 20 years, specializing in geriatric nursing and hospice care.

In 1997 she became certified in massage therapy and built a private practice as a massage therapist while working part time as a nurse.

The combination worked well, Wible said.

"I was looking to balance things out. I wanted to move toward health and wellness instead of death and illness. I loved hospice, but it takes a toll."

Throughout her career she always taught nursing and massage and has written two books: "Pharmacology for Massage Therapy" and "Drug Handbook for Massage Therapists."

She accepted her current position in April 2008.

Wible is a registered nurse and massage therapist licensed by the state and certified by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.

Typical day: Wible works four or five days a week, putting in nine to 10 hours a day. She is considered a 10-month employee but continues to teach classes throughout the summer.

She's responsible for coordinating and overseeing student clinical rotations in the massage therapy school, which is offered at the Essex campus. This includes setting clinic dates, prepping the clinic, instructing students and scheduling their clinical hours.

The bodywork clinic allows community members to come in for a massage so students can practice technique. Students must get 225 hours of hands-on, supervised massage experience.

She also assists in answering calls and e-mail messages from people requesting information about the massage program, and meets with prospective students.

Wible regularly teaches two or three classes a semester, which involves preparing instruction, meeting with students, tutoring, grading papers and tests and administrative tasks.

Classes she instructs include anatomy, massage, exploration of movement and introduction to research.

The program: It's relatively new, with the first class graduating in 2002. It now has 32 students, double the number of the year before.

Students graduate from the two-year, 65-credit program with an associate's degree in applied science.

Hardest part: Students must learn the many muscles and bones in the human body and the physiology of how they work.

"It's so detailed it takes people by surprise, but it's essential."

The good: "Seeing students come in without a clue and watching them grow into professionals."

The bad: Paperwork. "I love the teaching part, but there's a certain amount of paperwork and administrative work that has to be done."

Private practice: Wible still maintains her private massage therapist practice, seeing clients one or two days a week.

She charges $70 per hour and works with clients seeking general relaxation massage therapy, as well as those who suffer from depression, cancer and chronic back and neck pain.

Philosophy: "We want to give our students the highest level of education possible and as much real-life experience as possible so they are prepared to work anywhere."

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