nursing and aromatherapy

Nurses General Nursing


Hi. I originally posted this message on the holistic nursing board, but that forum seems to be pretty inactive so thought i would try here:

Nursing and Aromatherapy - Is there anybody out there who combines the two? I am almost fully qualified as a Holistic Aromatherapist and am hoping to start a Post Graduate Diploma in Adult Nursing later in the year. I eventually hope to use my skills as an aromatherapist as a nurse in a more clinical setting and was wondering if anyone is doing this successfully?


Kitty (London, UK)



172 Posts

Specializes in learning disabilities/midwifery.

This doesnt technically answer your question kitty but I thought I'd tell you my tale anyway. Im an RNMH and qualified 3 years ago with a diploma in aromatherapy.After around a year of using my skills on private clients I approached my manager r.e. using aromatherapy at work,most of my clients have severe learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, lim contractures ect and I thought it would be a useful addition to their present care. My manager asked me to provide her with an overview of what I planned to be doing, which I did,she then asked me to consult out medical team to ensure they were happy with the plan,which I did and they were. After this she got me to contact relatives to ensure they were happy (most of my clients have little or no communication) which I also did.Then she started coming up with totally bizarre requests, that I provide her with chemical breakdowns of all the oils and their possible reactions to the chemical constituents of all the meds my clients were on and also stated that if I wanted to offer this service to clients within my area that I would habe to provide it for everyone in the hospital.

After completing 'most' of her requests she finally sat me down and said, no, I wouldnt be able to use any of my aromatherapy skills within my workplace as it was not a medical requirement and as she felt that I would be 'abusing my position' as a nurse by practising my skills on 'uncomplaining' clients. She basically meant that I was going to use my clients as guinea pigs and free practice. After this I couldnt even speak to her about it I was so angry and dropped it at that and havent mentioned it again since.

Not that I want to put you off, Im sure they're are some open minded managers in the country, unlike mine. I think its a great idea to mix complementary therapies with traditional nursing and hope you have luck in managing it.


Specializes in NICU.

Hi! Great question. I work in NICU, and there are a few of us who try to incorporate aromatherapy into our work as much as possible- right down to the lotion we use on our bodies (knowing that we'll be holding babies close to us for feeding, burping, cuddling, etc.). I've read that the hospitalization experience can be very traumatic to babies and has lasting effects- the smell of alchohol wipes, betadine (not horrid but it's not spring-fresh, either...), Purel hand gel, etc. We often will place a small gauze pad rubbed with sweet-smelling lotion (citrus, candy-type smells, etc.) to relax the babies during procedures- we put it close to their faces but not touching them (have to be careful about their sensitive skin and causing an allergic reaction). We've actually had great success with lavendar-vanilla scented lotion on some of the larger, older babies. We rub them down with it (Aveeno- made by Johnson&Johnson...we get free samples) after bathing, and I swear to you, they just fall right to sleep. I think it's the combination of gentle massage and the scent together, but it works! I realize this isn't exactly what you asked, but I thought I'd throw in my two cents. Good luck! I wish more people could find a way to incorporate this type of thing into their daily nursing activities. You know, the field of psychiatry has opened up new arenas for art and music therapy, physical therapy has incorporated massage and bodywork, and I think that this is sort of in the same vein. :>)


267 Posts

I've used oil burners in the nursing home I used to work at - we had great success with lemongrass/bergamot in the mornings and lavender/vanilla in the evenings. Had a vastly reduced incidence of wandering patients walking out etc, and falls dropped by 50%!! The DON wasn't interested enough to keep it up when I left though and I've heard things have returned to their chaotic normality.


17 Posts

I think aromatherapy and nursing are a pretty good combination in order to keep you and your patients relax.


20,964 Posts

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. long as no one is allergic to the stuff. I rememeber walking into a labor patient's room where lavendar therapy was being used. (lotion, room scent, etc). It was all I could do to walk in there and not keel over. It just STUNK to me.... it was too strong and offensive. But I am sure aromatherapy, used properly, is VERY beneficial in MANY situations.


127 Posts

can anyone tell me how to get a diploma or certified in aromatherapy?? I really think it works and would like to study this field. Thanks in advance:)

renerian, BSN, RN

5,693 Posts

Specializes in MS Home Health.

We touched on this in my BS and MS program. Will you be certified or something?



127 Posts

I am going to start an RN-to-BSN program in the fall and should be done in one yr. I really believe in wholistic nursing and would like to specialize. I myself have Fibromyalgia and MS...Would love to learn how aromatherapy could help me. Any suggestions will be appreciated


577 Posts

a definite yes! We use it a lot here in all facilities.

It is extremely good in combination with Snoezelen for the demented and mentaly handicapped.


2,719 Posts

Originally posted by semstr

a definite yes! We use it a lot here in all facilities.

It is extremely good in combination with Snoezelen for the demented and mentaly handicapped.

Please, what is Snoezelen?

passing thru

655 Posts

Personally, I think aromatherapy is vastly under utilized. The next question is Why?

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