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Overview of Holistic Health and Nursing

Career News April 17, 2013

Many nurses avoid areas of specialty and niches in hopes of pursuing more mainstream, supposedly lucrative jobs in the big city and large hospitals. However, you may be able to make more money by specializing in a particular area. One of the most exciting avenues of traditional nursing is in becoming a holistic nurse.

Holistic nurses are not actively involved in traditional medicine, but many of the same practices they use are similar to what is taught in medical training. Holistic nurses focus on mental, physical and spiritual care. Holistic medicine stresses the intricate relationship between the body of a patient (or client in this context), as well as his/her mind. Holistic health wants to heal a person, and not merely treat a condition with medication. There are a number of techniques a holistic nurse might recommend to a person, and these are not only for physical healing, but to address emotional pains and needs.

Holistic nursing does require a lot from you as an authority on nursing and traditional health care practice. You must pay close attention to the symptoms of the client, as well as what he or she is saying. You will take responsibility and will be accountable for what you recommend. However, you will also stress to people you meet that they are responsible for their health on a day-by-day basis. You want to help them, not only improve their physical condition, and not only prevent disease, but also in providing cost effective treatment.

The holistic industry has to be extremely careful about being forthright, honest and exceptionally clear about what the source of ailment is, and how people can help themselves. Legitimate holistic medicine must back up its claims to avoid negative association with herbal scam artists. An adherence to nursing practices and knowledge of traditional medicine will help you significantly, and demonstrate your value to a holistic health facility.

What Will You Be Doing?

There are going to be differences between traditional nursing and holistic nursing, and if you have experience in the former, then this may require a bit of a re-adjustment. Holistic health care involves prevention of disease, conservative treatment, as well as managing the symptoms. You must take the lead in educating the client to become actively involved in improving his or her own health. Holistic nurses work alongside holistic doctors, and exceptional teamwork is required.

Whereas traditional medicine focuses on eliminating symptoms, with a holistic approach, you will be looking for the underlying causes of pain or discomfort, and helping the doctor recommend a plan of action through naturalistic means. You will be delving into physical, psychological and emotional aspects of your visitors. It is not merely a matter of recommending a list of dos and don’ts; you are encouraging your client to make changes to his or her environment.

What to Expect from a Career in Holistic Health Care

Holistic health care may treat terminal illnesses, in the sense of recommending changes in diet and lifestyle. You will not literally be administering procedures or using medical equipment. However, you will help the doctor provide counseling, help support groups, and perhaps even use other often ignored forms of science, such as hypnosis therapy, art therapy, yoga, meditation and various forms of psychotherapy. There are some instances in which traditional medicine and surgical procedures may take place within a holistic facility, and a doctor will oversee these cases. If you have medical training as a nurse, you could be relied upon for such expertise.

Holistic healing has some principals that differentiate it from traditional medicine, and from simple guesswork, which is common among herbal manufacturers. Holistic health teaches that the patient, or client of a facility, is ultimately responsible for his/her recovery. Well-being is not being free from disease, but living a better, healthier life. They also believe that positivity is a form of treatment, as is recognizing the body as a source of energy that gives life. Therefore, you must become familiar with these principles so you can combine the professionalism you have learned in traditional nursing with the philosophy of holistic treatment. You will be helping people by treating their mind as well as their body.

This is an ideal path if you personally have experienced the benefits of holistic medicine and if you desire to build stronger personal relationships with patients/clients. Nurses can sometimes feel great stress upon realizing that many visitors that check into a hospital have no intention of improving their lives; they merely want a quick fix to numb the pain. On the other hand, the people you meet in a holistic health care facility will take much of what you say to heart. They are looking for a lifestyle change and will prize you as an authority on the subject. This is an enriching career, and specializing in this niche may provide you an opportunity to make more money than you ever thought possible, while earning the respect you deserve.

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