woman doing yoga post

A popular trend in healthcare over the last decade has been a focus on patient preference, and many trainings from health professionals are as frequently about ways to improve the patient experiences as they are about actual care procedures. Many would argue that ensuring a patient is in a comfortable mindset is part of a successful procedure or technique, and patient feedback points to the same.

Holistic healthcare is still viewed by some in the more aged generations as being to novel to consider for care, but in has been more than a decade since the American Nurses Association established it as an official nursing specialty, and since it has steadily gained traction as a viable option for patients who desire an alternate approach for their care. Here is a closer look at holistic care in nursing.

Holistic Care

Simply defined, holistic care is an approach to “healing the whole person” rather than a given ailment. This ties into the aforementioned argument that ensuring a comfortable mindset should be part of a nurse’s responsibilities when discussing a procedure with a patient. Speaking of responsibilities, some things that holistic nurses do that other nurses generally do not, at least in an official capacity, include viewing a patient as an entire individual and focusing on that individual as a whole, not just as a patient whose wrist needs fixed (for instance), and forming a genuine relationship with the patient and the patient’s family.

As far as treatment and medication go, holistic nurses are still well-trained in western medicine for the ailment a patient is seeking care for, but they also utilize things like massage, acupuncture, aromatherapy, and wellness coaching to ensure a focus on a full body release and relaxation, rather than just a focus on whatever is written on a patient record.

Full Term Treatment

Holistic nurses also specialize in ensuring a patient (or person, as they would say) stays in a positive mindset throughout the tenure of their stay at a hospital, or for the duration of care that requires multiple trips to the hospital. Holistic nurses teach their patients to practice meditation, and provide them with dietary recommendations as well as strategies for wellness, including exercise and reflexology.

Oftentimes, the patient-nurse relationship will extend to the patient’s loved ones with holistic nurses, as a relationship with family only makes the patient seem more comfortable with the nurse. For this reason alone, many patients who decide to try a holistic approach come back for seconds when another healthcare concern falls on them.

Is it for You?

That really depends on you. Holistic care certainly won’t have any bad side effects like a new medication may have, but it also may not fit your style. If you have feelings that hospitals don’t care about you, than trying a holistic approach to care for your next trip to the hospital might be worth a shot! Also, if you tend to be someone who gets sick or hurt often, the overall approach on the individual (you) could help find mental or physical habits that are causing the frequency. The holistic approach can then work to replace these bad habits with good habits, ultimately keeping you away from the hospital.

As mentioned in the introduction, holistic medicine is no longer just something for the free-spirited, it is a legitimate and proven means to curing patients, especially in cases where those patients failed with western medicine.