Holistic nursing’s true goal lies not only in healing physical ailments, but also the entire healing of the whole person. This includes aspects that go beyond the body, but also the mind, wellness, and spirit of the patient, as well as addressing the environment, social, and cultural aspects that entail the patient’s life.
By incorporating Western medicine with alternative medicine, holistic nursing goes by the premise that you cannot truly heal a patient’s illness without considering and addressing the other aspects of his “whole” self.
This field of nursing is very niche and specialized, and has been gaining the preference of a lot of patients who are more open-minded to try alternative medicine such as Chinese medicine, homeopathy, and herbal medicine, to cite a few, alongside traditional medicine.
What is a holistic nurse, and what do they do?
Holistic nurses operate using the idea of giving each patient specialized care. This specialty practice entails the nurse to administer diverse methods of treatment to the patient.
But before any treatment can be administered, a holistic nurse first seeks to understand everything about his or her patient not only from a medical standpoint, but also aspects that entail his emotional, psychological, sociological, and spiritual well-being.
Firstly, a holistic nurse must explore the medical history and symptoms that the patient is experiencing. Then, a holistic nurse takes time to understand his or her patient’s thoughts and feelings, as well as the interconnectedness of such aspects to the patient’s experiences.
Once the nurse creates a deeper understanding of the patient as a whole, he or she then proceeds to administer a combination of first, traditional medicine, and then supplement these methods with a balance of alternative healing methods as well. Alternative healing methods come in a wide range. For body-based practices, therapeutic massage and acupuncture treatments can be applied.
For mind-based healing, meditation, counseling, and hypnotherapy can be done. Aside from these, nutrition counseling, Reiki, and herbal medicine are also other options that the holistic nurse can consider administering, depending on what the patient’s needs are. A treatment plan will be created, and it will be specialized from one patient to the next.
Where do holistic nurses work?
Holistic nurses can work in a hospital, or a holistic nursing practice as a private holistic nurse practitioner. Sports medicine treatment centers and massage therapy clinics are also possible work options. They can also work in an outpatient or ambulatory care basis. There are also a lot of self-employed holistic nurses, and others work as consultants.
How to become a Holistic Nurse?
To be a holistic nurse, you must be a registered nurse first with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, because thorough knowledge of illnesses is a requirement before you can advance to holistic nurse training and further education and certification programs. Most holistic nursing certification programs may also require prior nursing experience in hospitals.
There are Certificates in Holistic Health, and these do require the prior completion of physiology and human anatomy courses. You may also opt to pursue training in energy medicine, reflexology and homeopathy through taking up a Bachelor of Arts in Complementary and Alternative Health course.
For specific forms of alternative medicines such as Chinese medicine, Asian Holistic Care, and the like, there are programs that offer such as well. Ultimately, there are a lot of options and routes you can take to become a holistic nurse. All it takes is deciding what area to specialize and pursue.
How much do they make?
Salaries of holistic nurses depend on their area of specialty, whether they choose to specialize in neuropathy, acupuncture, reiki, or massage therapy, and so on. The average, mean salary of a holistic nurse, based from United States in year 2014 is $69,790.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, for health diagnosing and treatment, the average salary is $85,050. For massage therapy, it’s $41,790, while physicians and surgeons in the holistic field can earn up to $189,760.
What can you expect from being a holistic nurse?
As a holistic nurse, you must expect that you should be knowledgeable in several aspects that go beyond traditional Western medicine. You must be enthusiastic and determined in exploring the needs of your patient in a holistic aspect, and offer a non-judgmental environment where your patient feels safe to express him or herself freely.
What nursing organizations are associated with this profession?
The American Holistic Nurses Association is a membership organization that can offer support and endorsement, whilst the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation is responsible for awarding certifications for board certification for holistic nurses.
What are the related careers ?
Aside from being a holistic nurse, practitioners with this training may also work as a school nurse, or as a nurse in government agencies or social work offices. Other options include midwives and anesthetists for those with further advanced training.