Treating in our student clinic
The final part of studying either acupuncture or Tui Na at CCA involves working in our student clinic. After focused study and plenty of practice, our students are let loose on paying patients from the general public! The students will tell you that this is both frightening and exhilarating at the same time.
Our students spend a long time learning a wide range of subjects. Obviously, they need to learn Chinese Medicine, the acupuncture points and channels, and how to bring this all together in treatment. However, they also need to study appropriate aspects of Western Medicine such as anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacology, and how to read scientific research. Practitioner development is also a crucial part of our courses – students need to study the legal and personal aspects of being a professional therapist. Where all these different strands of study come together is in the clinic.
Our course is hands-on from an early stage, so our students are already confident and proficient in needling or using their Tui Na skills. At the start of their clinical experience they are given plenty of time to take the case, come up with a diagnosis, receive feedback and guidance from their highly experienced clinical supervisor, and be observed performing the treatment. As the students develop, less and less assistance is given until towards the end of the clinical experience where the supervisor’s role is really just to fine-tune the student’s treatment or offer alternatives to deepen their understanding of Traditional Chi-nese Medicine.
By the time our students qualify they are more than able to act as autonomous, reflective, self-motivating practitioners. Going to our graduation day is always so rewarding as one can see how each student has grown into a unique practitioner!
There was one strand to our course that wasn’t mentioned earlier – business skills. We want our students to become successful practitioners so we teach them what they need to know in order to succeed. Our students leave with a clear vision of how and where they will practice, who their target clientele will be, and what they will charge. Most of them will already have built their website and have printed their business cards.
However, we don’t just kick our students out after they qualify – we allow them to work free of charge for one day per week in our clinic, treating clients and keeping the money they generate. This enables them to have continued support from our teaching staff during that transitional first year whilst earning back some of the money invested in studying with us. No other UK college offers this.
Our acupuncture students get over 400 clinical hours across their three years of studying with us. This ensures that when they finally say goodbye to us they are full of confidence in taking that leap from student to professional.