Most people still find holistic nursing care a mystery, but it is actually easy to understand. While different from the conventional form of nursing care we are all used to, it still has its fair share of advantages worth discussing. While traditional nursing care is aimed at heating the individual’s mind and body, holistic nursing care entails an upgrade to the practice. So, what is holistic care and what should you know about it? This article will delve deeper!
What is Holistic Care?
Simply put, holistic care is a practice that focuses on healing a patient via the unity of the body, mind, spirit, emotion, and environment. Holistic nurses utilize their therapeutic skills and knowledge to look after patients. This combination creates a care system where the practitioners believe mental state affects an individual’s wellness.
How Do Holistic Nurses Treat Patients?
Also referred to as complementary health nurses, holistic nurses utilize alternative medicine to treat their patients. In some situations, they combine holistic practices with conventional medicine. Holistic treatment examples include massage, acupuncture, hypnosis, eastern medicine, wellness coaching, hydrotherapy, aromatherapy, etc.
How Does Holistic Nursing Care Differ From Conventional Medicine?
It’s important to note that traditional Western medicine and holistic nursing implement varying philosophies, diagnosis practices, and treatments. Traditional medicine focuses on bacteria, viruses, and genetics while holistic nursing care attributes an individual’s injury or condition to their environment and experiences.
(i) Traditional Medicine
The conventional form of treatment looks to match up symptoms to an already established list of health conditions and diseases in order to make a diagnosis. Practitioners use diagnostic tools to determine the cause of the disease and come up with an effective form of treatment. Medical equipment and drugs are used to treat diseases.
(ii) Holistic Nursing Care
Here, the holistic nurse listens to patient suggestions and preferences on how to go about the treatment. If an individual is diagnosed with a certain condition, the nurse might decide to focus on healing instead of the disease itself. Some of the treatment recommendations include exercise, dietary changes, homeopathy, herbs, biofeedback, reflexology, and meditation.
The Various Elements of Holistic Nursing Care
Holistic nursing care may primarily focus on the impact of factors aside and not just the disease or a diagnosis that may aid or influence in determining the achievement of the desired outcome. In the holistic method followed in palliative care, for example, the practitioner may consider the individual’s age to be a determinant when prescribing the most effective form of comfort care if the individual is limited because of their mobility and other age-related issues. The various elements of practice in this regard include:
1. The Patient as a Whole
Other than age, an individual’s religious and cultural beliefs may have an impact on how they receive health care. An individual who values faith-based aspects of self-care may benefit from a healthcare plan that includes activities they enjoy in their faith.
Socio-economic factors when considering the patient as a whole also come into play. The means to obtain the money required to handle health care and other financial-related stressors can affect an individual’s mental health. Due to this connection, a patient can experience anxiety or depression in relation to the lifestyle needed to handle the stressor. Using this route, holistic nurses are able to identify the interconnections and view the patient as a whole.
2. Loved Ones
As a holistic nurse, the ability to assess and comprehend family values and dynamics is paramount for creating a care plan that is ideal for the patient. Learning about the patient’s loved ones calls for active communication skills and respect for their practices and beliefs, even if they differ from your own. A holistic nurse with an awareness of the patient’s family is able to see how this aspect can affect an individual’s health as well as their treatment plan.
3. The Environment
A patient’s environment is assessed by a holistic nurse with respect to where they call home as well as where they spend most of their time. Organization, cleanliness, and personal care items for daily living activities are some of the factors that have to be addressed in this element of practice.
Patients with reduced functional mobility or cognitive decline may require help with ascertaining whether their environment has adequate food and water, access to fresh air, sufficient lighting, etc.
Just like family, a patient’s community is likely to include support systems from shared hobby groups, places of worship, and other social networks. An individual’s community can be in-person, local, virtual, or distant. Assessing and understanding a patient’s community and its impact on the individual is a primary element in holistic nursing care.
Learn More About Holistic Nursing Care!
Here at The Nurse Coach Collective, we provide a wide array of nursing and care services. We embrace the progress in both traditional and holistic nursing practices. To learn more, do not hesitate to get in touch!