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Nurses Use Holistic Approach to Heal Patients, Themselves

Nurses Use Holistic Approach to Heal Patients, Themselves

Heather Stringer, Monster Contributing Writer

“Instead of wondering how to get through the next 12 hours, as a holistic nurse you realize the people you’ll encounter will have things to offer you,” Kipnis says. “Out of that situation, there will be a moment where you intersect and both come away changed.”

First Heal Thyself

Lucia Thornton, RN, MSN, AHN-BC, believes that healthcare organizations that adopt a holistic approach will lower nursing turnover. Thornton, who is self-employed in California, spends part of her time teaching holistic courses to hospital staffs. She explains to caregivers that they cannot help to heal patients if they do not know how to take care of themselves.

“Nurses are notorious for taking care of others before themselves, but a person who is depleted and distressed cannot be a healing presence,” Thornton says. “I teach them to look at their lives and identify what they need to change. I offer nutrition counseling, exercise protocols and strategies for dealing with toxic people in their lives.”

Nurses who learn to care for the mind, body and spirit in themselves and their patients will have the best odds of enjoying their work, Thornton says.

“Once you begin to see people from that perspective, it changes the way you care for patients,” she says. “It allows you to be really present with a person, and this nurtures a nurse at a deep level.”

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