The Need For Nurses To Keep Current In the Evolving Complementary Therapy Field
The use of complementary therapy in the healing of patients used to be viewed as something similar to “shooting donkey piss up your nose” to heal an ailment. It was formerly believed that because these forms of therapy were based upon religious beliefs and was founded upon the faith of a patient that the “quack doctor” can heal his ailments, that these procedures posed only dangers to the health of those who are ill. The study by King, et al. has proven though that complementary therapies have come a long way and the medical community now believes that therapies such a visualization, massage, and prayer therapy actually have its benefits for some clients. These benefits may not be in terms of healing the patient, but, aids mostly in pain and symptom alleviation. The 2 former being vital to keeping a patient comfortable while ill or convalescing. I believe that King’s views are well founded as it has already been slowly proven by modern science that in order to heal a symptom or an illness, a doctor must only heal the afflicted portion of the body but also make sure that the patient believes he can be healed. It is also true that when all else fails when referring to a scientific cure for the ailment, patients will seek complementary therapy as such therapies do sometimes offer temporary relief from what is ailing them. Therefore, I would like to add that for so long as the complementary therapy does not pose a danger to the physical and medical status of the patient, I should, as a nurse, try to apply certain types of complementary therapy upon a patient who requests for it.
CAM therapies are not normally taught in nursing schools. Instead it is taught as short term courses in some community colleges. So it is hard for me to stay abreast of the current CAM trends. It would perhaps be of immense benefit to all fields of the healthcare profession if the foundations for CAM and its therapies are integrated into the curricula for medical fields dealing directly with patient care such as nursing and care giving.
King, Margaret o’Brien, Pettigrew, Amy C., Reed, Fay Carol. (2000). Complementary, alternative, integrative: have nurses kept pace with their clients?. Dermatology Nursing, 12 (1).