How Holistic Nursing Benefits Your Patients and You

By Caroline Ortiz - April 26, 2016
How Holistic Nursing Benefits Your Patients and You

The healing process is more complex than the modern medical industry would have you believe, with an array of mind-body-spirit interactions impacting patients’ ability to heal from injuries and illnesses. Holistic nurses address the oft-forgotten mental and spiritual aspects of healthcare, thereby promoting long-term wellness as well as short-term relief. The focus is on the whole person, as opposed to one or two specific symptoms.

Modern holistic philosophy draws heavily from the work of the iconic Florence Nightingale, who also believed that medical professionals should focus on treatment of the whole person. Students enrolled in holistic RN to BSN programs adopt this philosophy, incorporating elements of both Eastern healing and Western medicine.

Traditional versus holistic nursing programs

Holistic nursing brings a unique and valuable perspective to a profession dominated by Western treatments. Holistic practitioners emphasize the healing of the entire mind and body, which, when thrown off balance, may suffer a variety of chronic ailments. Additionally, holistic nurses believe that there is inherent value in such Eastern healing methods as aromatherapy, meditation, and acupuncture.

Many aspiring holistic nurses enroll in RN-BSN programs, which allow them to build further on their already impressive understanding of the nursing industry. At PCOM, these RN-BSN students expand on their understanding of modern medical treatments, while also discovering the fascinating world of Eastern medicine. Through their examination of multiple medical perspectives, they discover the value of well-rounded treatment plans that address the mental and spiritual elements that often give way to physical suffering.

Self-care and quality of service

Professional burnout is a huge problem in the medical industry, particularly among traditional nurses – many of whom feel overtaxed and underappreciated. Burnout leads to great suffering for nurses, of course, but it also can have an adverse impact on patients. A 2012 study published in the American Journal for Infection Control found that patient outcomes suffered significantly when nurses took on greater caseloads and suffered ensuing burnout.

In holistic nursing, professionals are encouraged to apply the same holistic approach they utilize in a professional setting to their personal lives. Holistic nurses believe that they cannot be effective professionals unless they are in peak condition, both physically and mentally. Thus, these nurses are more likely to engage in the self-care routines needed to maintain full health.

Holistic Nursing: A Pathway to Enhanced Wellbeing for Nurses and Patients

Holistic nurses are encouraged to maintain nutritious, well-rounded diets and impactful fitness regimens. They are also more likely to engage in yoga, meditation, and other activities that benefit their mental health. The result is higher work-life satisfaction and better care for patients, who go on to implement these same healthy attitudes and behaviors in their own lives.

Once regarded with skepticism by the greater medical industry, holistic healthcare has experienced a significant increase in interest these last few years. Ongoing research indicates that holistic healthcare professionals can deliver superior outcomes in a variety of settings, including hospices, assisted living facilities, clinics, and hospitals. Those who enroll in holistic nursing programs can contribute to this promising movement by incorporating the holistic healing model into their everyday nursing duties.

Holistic nursing could be the ticket to a more fulfilling life for both you and your patients. If you’re investigating nursing programs in New York, take the next step in your career with PCOM’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing holistic RN to BSN programs.

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Caroline Ortiz

Caroline E. Ortiz is a board-certified nurse coach and an associate professor in the Pacific College of Health and Science’s Holistic Nursing Programs. She has developed holistic health programs for healthcare providers and general audiences, participated in clinical research of integrative medicine, and created a Spanish-language guided meditation library for Health Journeys. She is active with the National Association of Hispanic Nurses-NY Chapter and the Integrative Health Project’s work in Guatemala. Caroline is also a curandera (f., traditional healer) apprentice and curanderismo (traditional medicine of Mesoamerican roots) researcher.

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