Kansas City, MO- Fall 2016
The Holistic Nursing Approach
I had wonderful opportunities to strengthen my knowledge about the nursing field by attending the National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA) conventions. In November of 2016, I attended the NSNA Mid- Year Convention in Kansas City, Missouri. This particular convention focused on career planning and the endless career opportunities in the nursing field.
The founder of Holistic Nursing, Florence Nightingale, taught nurses the values of holism through unity between interrelationship of individuals and their environment. Holistic Nursing techniques emphasizes on certain aspects that are essential in the healing process. In other words, it focuses on therapeutic and natural ways to help patients restore fully: mind, body, and spirit. The American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA) president spoke about the organization and stressed the importance of taking care and viewing our patients with a holistic approach and using methods. For example, therapeutic communication techniques can impact patients in a major way.
The president told a story about her own experience as a nursing manager and how holistic approaches can be used in any setting. She told a story about an obese patient who refused to get up out of bed. The patient was depressed and lacked the support from her family members. The nurse did not know how to motivate the patient to get out of bed, so the nurse simply told the patient that she would die if she did not get up and walk around. After telling this story, the president allowed each of us to pause and reflect on how we would feel if we were that patient. Clearly, the patient was already struggling and was aware of the repercussion of remaining immobile. The most beneficial thing the nurse could have done was to figure out why the patient refused to get out of bed. What was the worst thing that could happen if she got up? Was she afraid of falling? As the AHNA president stated, by using therapeutic techniques, these reasons could have been uncovered.
These are the things we as future nurses should be trying to figure out in order to help our patients to the fullest extent. As a holistic nurse, there is a focus on Complementary Alternative Medication (CAM) care approaches, such as aromatherapy and massage therapy. Additionally, Holistic Nursing is recognized as an official nursing specialty by the American Nurses Association. There is a class and certification to become part of this wonderful specialty. Overall, I believe as future nurses, we can all benefit in learning more about holism and unity when caring for patients.
As the website states, “Yet Holistic Nursing is not merely something we do. It is also an attitude, a philosophy and a way of being that requires nurses to integrate self-care, self-responsibility, spirituality, and reflection in their lives. This often leads the nurse to greater awareness of the interconnectedness of self, others, nature, spirit and relationship with the global community.”