Quote from lumbarpain
How does an RN begin to get her feet wet in Holistic Nursing without becoming broke in the process...?
Congrads on your choice. There is no simple answer. First, let me clarify something here.
While presumably, all nursing is holistic, on studying the holistic field, it became apparent that the nursing profession is probably as far as it can be from holistic. Individuals may practice holistic modalities, as did I and others who taught me, but the profession on the whole is somewhat against it.
Consider...I implemented gum chewing to decrease post op complications of the gut in several hospitals. The doctors, when presented with the proposal were elated. All
of the doctors presented were excited by this. The only ones giving me grief or questioning it were my fellow nurses.
On another occasion, no wait, this happened several times through the years...a colleague was quite upset that I did not give an IV push when not one, but 2 patients had sugars in the low 40's. Both were conscious. Both doctors thanked me for using my head in managing the patients and not policy and procedure. Oh yea, I had blood drawn to confirm.
Mind you, my nursing always included holistic care. Like getting an order and giving Black Strap Molasses and Peanut Butter to a patient with a HGB of 2.9 and a crit of 9 when the EPO was not working. The hemonk looked at the iron stores and not the TIBC, the essential indicator and why the EPO was not working. Oops, this was in the product literature. Guess he did not read the instructions. Maybe it is a guy thing.
One doctor suggested that this patients avoidance of a transfusion probably saved him from metastatic cancer. Studies confirm this outcome. His count was up to safe in just 48 hours (and he was pink again).
Lets see, several hundred patients I case managed with out blood transfusions in my career, none died, all got out 1/2 to three days faster, JAMA says every hospital should be doing this, NEJM says similar, 2 US hospitals are totally Bloodless Centers (give no transfusions) and yet most nurses will say to me, "I don't believe in it." (Read: I don't believe in evidence based medicine.
"There are no high level studies showing Blood Transfusions save lives." Dr. Richard Spence says, "All the high level studies show the exact opposite. From any to the more blood you get, the greater the morbidity and mortality." He concluded, "The transfusion you refuse may save your life." It is not just doctors, it is nurses who are resistant to holistic health.
Additionally, holistic involves teaching, way more than what most nurses have time for. How many friends and family do you meet who were not given any teaching on dietary requirements after any kind of broken bones. I have yet to find more than just a few who got this teaching. And those who did get teaching were taught outdated info (yep, even the teaching sheets given were wrong based on current evidenced based research). Does anyone know about the Harvard Women's Study?
How to Start
Begin by choosing your modality of treatment. I use only the four most basic natural cures. Proper hydration, exercise, deep breathing and diet. Yep, the medicine cabinet in you cupboard and the pharmacy in your fridge.
Consider just one aspect of what I teach.
Remember, you cannot make medical diagnosis. So, my patients are not dehydrated (medical diagnosis), rather, they may get a nursing diagnosis from me that they have or be at risk for a Fluid Volume Deficit as evidenced by concentrated urine, decreased skin turgor, etc.
My treatment: I give them education on how to properly rehydrate the body starting with morning and night time hydration and nothing more. The amount of water they drink is based on body weight and lifestyle / activity level.
Included with the water intake is putting a certain amount of unprocessed sea salt
in the mouth and letting it dissolve before drinking the water. If there is an associated sleep pattern disturbance or sleep integrity: impaired, I suggest that they drink the water first then take the salt prior to sleep. Of course we were not taught this in nursing school
but water is a natural diuretic. Giving just water IV is contraindicated in a dehydrated patient unless the proper electrolytes are present, read, 'add salt to the fluid.' So, why would we be taught to only give water to someone dehydrated. And table salt, it is toxic. Why do we give it to patinets in the hospital. It has been stripped of all the natural buffers that make it safe. As to the first part, no, nursing is not truly holistic.
This is all I teach on the first visit when doing a H&P.
Next, once you have your modality, you will need to start practicing.
Also start getting testimonials to use as advertising and to get referrals. One of my first male patients called to tell me the proper hydration teaching worked the first night.
Impossible and it was probably the placebo effect was my response. He said no and explained that he drank the entire 32 ounces of water before sleep, the max safe amount. He took the salt (unprocessed sea salt) after the water and also in the correct amount. He then said that he slept the entire night with out having to get up three times to use the bathroom. Oh yea, he got me 8 additional patients, referrals, one a nurse. He continues to loose weight and feel great.
Another patient told me how it lowered her BP from 220/110 to 180/68 when her meds were not working. She is now working with her doc to use both treatments. Her doc is weaning her off the BP meds and I am introducing improved diet considerations to continue lowering her BP. She is 82 and my oldest patient.
The best of all, a friend with chest pain riding in the car with us said that her second nitro did not work. Giving the option of going to the hospital or the opposite direction and treating it holistically, she opted for holistic. Taking just a pinch of sea salt in her mouth and then drinking a bottle of water from the first available convent store ended her chest pain in seconds. Needless to say, she called a few days later to say she can no go for walks with her daughter and not get tired now that she is properly hydrating.
You can specialize. One of my contacts only does maternity related holistic nursing. Guess which patients I send to her because it is out of my scope of practice.
You can also specialize in cardiac treatment. Yes, you read that right. The holistic health treatments have considerable evidence based research and are more effective than the typical medical treatments that end up shortening the lives of patients (per the studies). So you will find a number of nursing diagnoses. like Cardiac Output Decreased, as evidenced by.... (actually it is better to use one of the diagnostic clusters).
The treatment or nursing care involves teaching the patient what to do. The biggest part of this is what to eat, what to take or in some cases, what to ask the doctor when getting blood tests. For instance, the erythrocyte magnesium is the best and not the serum mag level (an inaccurate level per the studies). Giving the proper amount of mag can help lower blood pressure and correct arrhythmia vs using diuretics that increase homocysteine (one raw beet a week takes care of homocysteine, turning it into cysteine, for many, eliminating arthritis pain).
I am trying something unique. I simply ask the patients to pay what it is worth to them. If any driving of more than a few miles is required, a charge for travel is suggested before the meeting. You can have a flat rate visit fee and an initial consultation fee. Many of my patients require ongoing coaching.
Look at the many life coaches and the business models they use. You are the ultimate life coach, helping people master their mind, body and spirit to have the best possible health.
Plan on it taking about 2-3 years to build a practice that will give you job quitting income. Please avoid the MLM companies and their promises. I have two friends both making lots of money (20K / month and 1.5 mil / year) who both are now in a new MLM. Why? Because the original MLM changed the pay method and they both ended loosing a lot of their income. They were also dangerously close to practicing medicine. Avoid guilt by association. You do not need them.
Besides, why make the MLM rich when you can do the exact same thing with the right food at a fraction of the cost of the 'products' that the MLM push.
The most important thing to do, START.
Good health to you and your new career.