Naturopathic nursing

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    Is this widely available as a position? I have never heard of an opening like this. After learning more and more about natural healthy solutions to illness by changing diet and lifestyle as apposed to chemical solutions to health problems, I have decided I don't want to pursue this type of nursing if I am required to force-feed medications to people which are probably hurting them more than helping them. Can anyone tell me if they have had a job like this before and what kind of training and work they do? Thank you.
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  3. 8 Comments so far...

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    I have never heard of a position like this. It sounds like a great, fulfilling, interesting job. But it's not what our role has traditionally been. Western medicine remains highly profitable, and evidence-based practice is becoming appropriately valued in our society. This keeps the vast majority of our job opportunities along the dynamic spectrum of modern medicine. At least nursing still maintains a connection the holistic aspect of healing! If you find a position in this field, please elaborate. I would love it.
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    I like the idea of going beyond tradition. Or in this case, going backwards to an old tradition that has research backing it this time. Thanks for your response.
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    Quote from EarthwormRN
    Is this widely available as a position? I have never heard of an opening like this. After learning more and more about natural healthy solutions to illness by changing diet and lifestyle as apposed to chemical solutions to health problems, I have decided I don't want to pursue this type of nursing if I am required to force-feed medications to people which are probably hurting them more than helping them. Can anyone tell me if they have had a job like this before and what kind of training and work they do? Thank you.
    There is nothing "naturopathic" or alternative about encouraging and teaching a healthy diet and lifestyle. In fact, that is what every reasonable practitioner suggests for everyone.

    Many patients are not able or willing to implement the changes and many others suffer from disease even when they do fully and faithfully implement naturopathic interventions.

    Your characterization about "force-feeding" and chemical solutions is a naive at best and dangerous at worst.

    I have admitted quite a few patients who almost killed themselves trying implement your chosen intervention. One memorable example was 22 year old nursing student who tired to cure her lupus nephritis with herbs and naturopathic remedies. By the time she arrived on my floor, her creatinine was 18 and she was so fluid overloaded she looked 8 months pregnant. She had a TIA soon after admit and the rapid response nurse kept yelling at me about "When did have her baby?!?" Would you let her die or administer life-saving medications and treatments?

    I prefer that my patients lead a healthy, active lifestyle and that we should not administer any unnecessary medications. But if my patient with ETOH withdrawal and liver failure has an ammonia of 144, he is getting ativan, lactulose, haldol, and quite a few others from me with no reservations on my part whatsoever.

    There is no "alternative" medicine. Treatments are either therapeutic or they are not. If you truly want to be a "naturopathic" practitioner, go ahead and dispense with the "RN" title, post a sign on your garage and start a business. You just created the position you seek.

    Good luck!
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    Addressing illness in ways that include changes to diet and lifestyle is not a type of Nursing, it's a core part of all Nursing. No Nurse is "required to force feed medications to people which are probably hurting them more than helping them", in fact, making sure that doesn't happen is also a common expectation of all Nurses.

    Helping the patient work towards their definition of optimal health, by whatever means the patient wishes to pursue, is what Nurses do.
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    As far as I have heard there are schools for naturopathic doctors, but not nursing. While I agree that many people in this country are over medicated and some Rx medications can do more harm than good. I've worked in the natural health industry before and I saw success stories of using the natural alternatives but, by and large, many people do not qualify for this type of health management: they are just too sick. Many times I had customers give me their list of diagnoses and I've had to tell them to seek a doctors advice. I hope that future generations begin to use natural choices as a means to prevent illness, rather than treating, but many of these can be effective. My advice to you is to research the nearest naturopathic doctor to you and ask them what positions they offer and what is available in that field. In the mean time, get that mind set of "force feeding chemicals" out of your head and try to implement that beautiful nursing knowledge to prevent over medicating when you have evidence it is causing your patients harm.
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    Wow, there is a lot of negativity in response to someone who seems to be genuinely interested in trying to practice preventative medicine, which is becoming more mainstream but in general is not the way America has operated for a while now. Maybe her wording was off-putting, but I get it...I don't always want to give people pills that will not cure the root of a problem, though I know it is often necessary.
    Anyway, as someone mentioned earlier, look up Naturopathic physicians as a starting place...and good luck to you.
    MBARN likes this.
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    My last BF is a naturopath. It is more common on the West coast, this field, and is only regulated in a few states so far. Meaning- in the other states, anyone can hang a shingle out and call themselves a 'naturopathic physician'. That is slowly changing/evolving as it becomes more recognized. For instance, in some states they can now prescribe 'real' medications. They also can perform certain minor surgeries, etc. They hire nurses to work in their clinics. LOTS of IVs, (so your needle skills are more important than your degree) so it's more fun than a 'normal' clinic. Lots of diet talk, enemas, supplements. The patients are more interesting also, since they avoid the beaten path. But the practitioners do remain within their realm, and absolutely refer to 'medical doctors', when appropriate. It's complimentary, more than 'alternative', in fact. So, if you work for a naturopath, you would be practicing naturopathic nursing, by default. It's unhurried, unrushed, and a sweet job. Best part- it's all self-pay, so the nightmare of insurance paperwork does not exist.
    C-lion likes this.
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    Oops, just found out that insurance companies in two states (WA,CT) have to offer some insurance coverage for naturopathic medicine, and in WA, naturopaths can be reimbursed via insurance for primary care, like medical doctors. It's making inroads into the mainstream. And, Earthworm- if you go to Wickipedia and look into it, you'll what states have natruopaths, which don't (there are two that specically ban the practice), and what modalities they use, etc. So you can look to work for one, or if you're state doesn't license them, you can become one, yourself. Don't pay any mind to the link to 'Quackwatch'- naturopathic medicine is genuine, and it works- I can attest to that personally.
    C-lion likes this.


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