holistic thinking

  1. Hi all. I have just made the transition from college to university. The philosiphies that I have been taught under have moved from a biomedical model to a holistic approach. This is a new abstract, almost ambiguous way of thinking that is new to me. Being concreteworks for the medical model but it is hard to grasp some of the theories and paradigms that are presented to me. Has anyone else been in this situation? Is there any easy ways or methods of making the trasnsition easier to accepting and appreciating nursing theories? I do appreciate them but some are so abstract it is hard to percieve their meaning. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Cheers, Lesley
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    About lesley

    Joined: Feb '02; Posts: 4


  3. by   mattcastens
    The most basic way I can think of to explain holistic thought, which is the very essence of nursing science, BTW, is that you are treating the whole person. I mean that quite literally.

    Yes, a primary concern is the medical dysfunction the patient is experiencing. Depending on your specialty, the medical focus might be a higher priority. No matter what your specialty, though, think of all the other things that affect the patient.

    How is your patient's emotional health in dealing with this crisis? How about spiritual health? Does your patient have some family issues that you can "lubricate"? Family dysfunction can greatly affect health. How is your patient's comfort? Don't just deal with analgeisics, but think about what might make the truly comfortable. Music? Ambient lighting? Flowers or pleasing scents? Maybe just straightening up the room. How is your patient's diet? Are there accomodations that can be made so that calorie intake is easier? Healthier? Is your patient nervous about an upcoming procedure? What can make that easier? A backrub (a lost art in nursing, it seems), talking, breathing exercises? How is the patient's family dealing with the crisis? Are they comfortable? Do they feel welcome or rushed? Helpful or in the way? Family is very important in illness and their presence can make all the difference, as can their attitude. Don't forget education. What does your patient need to know about this illness? What do they need to know to prevent future occurances or relapeses? Do they need help in behavior modification?

    All of this is a lot to take in, I know. You can't do it all, either. Look at what some priority problems might be. Don't be affraid to delegate when necessary. As I mentioned before, holism iswhat truly defines nursing science from medical science, though the two are definitely complementary.
  4. by   marieoct62
    I suggest you look up Betty Neuman. She is a nursing theorist which my school uses in our curriculum. Yes the person is a whole being not just a diseased individual. When I am caring for a patient in clinicals I usually start my conversation with "Doctors take care of the disease or sickness, the nurse takes care of the whole person". I then find out things like do they have a support system? What is their family situation. Do they have loved ones who will be there for them or are they going back to a nursing home? How do they handle stress? do they know how to meditate to relieve stress can they use imagery to relieve their stress? We also use eric eriksons maturational stages. I love holistic care because you have alot of cues as to how to best handle a patients care by suggesting ways they might recover more quickly. The patient also feels that you truly care about them as a person instead of just caring for their disease.
  5. by   live4today
    Students actually have to pay big bucks to take those nonsense courses about some other ancient nurse's theory on how to approach patients holistically or otherwise? When I was in college studying nursing, learning about holistic care of a patient was part of the training, not a separate course of history. Why, that sounds like a big waste of money in college...money better spent on more important material, that's for sure.
    Last edit by live4today on Feb 14, '02