I am a 21 year old female and have been taking my prerequisites for Nursing. I felt very passionate about my choice, I do really enjoy caring for people and helping people. However, as I got further into my studies, talked to various RNs, and had researched the career for awhile, I realized how horrible our health care system really is in the U.S. I think that we rely too heavily on drugs and intoxicants, therefore I don't want to have to inject people with a bunch of drugs, like nurses have to do sometimes.
My mother in law who is an RN told me that at her hospital 14 patients died in one month due to medical errors(being given the wrong drugs).Then she told me that they actually had someone who's job it was to "erase" the medical error so that it doesn't make the hospital look bad and they never told the patients family. I was horrified. I don't want any part of that.
I believe that an organic diet, exercise, herbal TEAS, meditation, acupuncture, acupressure, Craniospinal therapy, etc. are the best ways of treating and preventing illness. So I have decided that I either want to be a Nurse(and later Nurse Practitioner) who works in a Naturopathic Clinic, or become a doctor who uses natural and alternative . My question is, to become a Naturopathic doctor do you HAVE to go to a special Naturopathic medical school or could you go to medical school and then just start your own Naturopathic practice?
Also, which option sounds best? I know that I would have to have a Bachelor's degree before I could go to med school anyway, so should I just continue on with Nursing and try to get into a Naturopathic Clinic?
You ask a very good question. I am an RN in Phoenix, Arizona. I have been a RN for 10 years, working in various capacities. My main background has been in Emergency Nursing, with concurrent positions in Med/Surg and Orthopedics. I have also spent many years as a clinical educator. I couldn't agree more with your frustration with Western Medicine.
I left the ED arena because I did not like the direction ED nursing has been turning into.... and other units as well.... "do more with less", etc. It seems the state of our healthcare system has been turning medicine into a conveyor belt practice and I am frustrated that nursing has been stuck doing the same. Now, my background is hospital acute care.
I understand it and know how it works... but I still do not like how nursing has been forced to follow suit in this arena. It is hard with a large patient assignment, to spend time to care for patient's response to illness and injury (the definition of nursing). Now, to get to your questions about Naturopathic Medicine. Tempe, Arizona has a naturopathic medical school (Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine) and there are several other states that have these Naturopathic Medical Schools.
These are post graduate medical schools that train naturopathic physicians (but their licensing varies from state to state). Some can prescribe, perform minor surgical procedures, etc. Of the naturopathic clinics I know of, there are no RNs employed in them.
Have you heard of the American Holistic Nurses Association? This is a national nursing specialty organization that focuses on nurses caring for themselves as well as their patients, in a holistic manner. It is recognized by the ANCC as a specialty, and has specialty certifications. You can visit their website at ahna.org.
The great thing about holistic nursing, is that it can be applied and used in any nursing unit. I am a member of the national and local organizations. I am also pursuing my advanced degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner.
I contemplated going to Naturopathic Medical School, but after 10 years of nursing experience, I decided to capitalize on my nursing background, and do the advance practice nurse route. I can and will continue to use and learn more holistic modalities (commonly referred to as CAM -complementary and alternative modalities) so I can integrate them into my practice.
I believe a sort of blend of western and eastern medicine approaches. My recommendation for you is to complete your BSN in nursing. Find an area within nursing you are interested in and enjoy, and learn how to integrate holistic practices into your nursing practice. You certainly can go to naturopathic medical school, but I think the best combination is to become an advance practice nurse and integrate CAM therapies into your practice. I hope this helps.
I don't know the path of study to become a naturopath but I would certainly investigate. You are young with a passion for holistic medicine...how refreshing! If I had your options I would likely go the naturopath route. You will have more autonomy and opportunities. Additionally you can add to your practice with acupuncture and advanced studies. Do a search for naturopath schools...good luck! I think you have a very bright future! I agree with your view on western medicine. While I appreciate our technology, we as a nation are extremely short sighted when it comes to managing chronic health problems. Go for it! I was planning on going on to NP school but like you my belief system clashes with the medical model. Keep me posted!
NensaRK, It's so refreshing to know that I'm not the only nurse that has a passion for using the natural herbs, foods, oils ect. that God has provided to heal us. People were using these things as medicine long before modern medicine took over. People look @ me like I'm crazy when I credit garlic, green tea, and the sauna 3 times a week to my strong immune system. I've never had the flu or any other virus, and I avoid the flu vaccine for my own personal reasons. I'm a firm believer that diet, exercise, and herbs are better than any medicine on the market. I've always carried this belief, but just recently I stumbled upon naturopathic nursing and I would like to brach into it when I become an NP. I recently had a physician tell me that I would need to have surgery. I'm very please with the care that I've received, but she never suggested any change in diet, exercise, herbs, ect. I found in my own research that the coffee I drink progresses my condition and I found an herb @ the health food store that has been linked to the dismay of the condition. I've started back exercising 3-4 times a week, cut out the coffee, taking my herbs, drinking plenty of water & of course faith and prayer. I know that those things I've incorporated into my life are helping. I would @ least want to give my patients the option of using naturopathic medicine first.
Remember that if a small practice chooses to hire an RN, they are hiring you for your RN skills, not your interest in CAM. Though it might be a benefit to know that you are on the same page as them, philosophically, they aren't paying your RN wages for you to refuse meds.
That being said, there are some ND practices (in some states) where they do things like vitamin C infusions so they would need someone who can legally start IV's. Generally, though, most primary care practices don't hire RN's at all--they have MA's or CNA's, or maybe LPN's since they are cheaper than RN's.
NP medicine is licensed in about 15 states. In the others states it's either unlicensed (meaning anyone can call herself a 'Naturopathic Physician'), or it's illegal- and the AMA is behind that driving force. As far as if NP works? Some of it is just nonsense (homeopathy, treating AIDS or cancer with H202 infusions, etc.). A lot of it is wonderful and proven- back adjustments, massage, accupuncture, bowel cleanses, and IVs that flush your system out. As far as nursing goes- I have a friend that is a NP, and he uses a medical assistant (you heard me RIGHT!) to start all of his IVs. I thought he was out of his mind, until I read the state laws that say, basically, under supervision? An MA can do almost 'anything' a physician wants, under direct supervision. So, no NP is going to pay an RN, when he can pay an MA $9 an hour to give a $5 IV that he bills the patient for, for about $150. Sorry for the reality check!
If you wish to participate in quackery than why not?
usalsfyre, what a rude and insensitive comment. NenaRK, you're young! Go for the Naturopathic Medicine. You can build on many skills and modalities. I don't know where I'd be without my chiropractor and acupuncturist/Chinese medicine practitioner. Those who can only see western medicine as the total answer are missing some incredible healing options. There is room to blend both worlds. I wish you well in your pursuits. Go for the whole enchilda!
Rude and insensitive, but there is absoloutely ZERO good evidence that naturopathy works. If we were talking about someone peddling an allopathic treatment regimen with zero evidence as a "cure" we'd call them a quack. Yet for some reason when we talk about CAM we're supposed to be "sensitive" about stuff that doesn't work.
I don't think naturopathic medicine or CAMs are quackery. They are adjuvants used in combination with allopathic interventions or by themselves. Many have been used for centuries and have worked. To say there is no evidence shows how you havent taken any time to research the literature out there.
Want to hit me with the literature I've missed? Cause I'm pretty sure the CAM folks would be crowing about something showing even minimal benefit.
I realize this thread is a little old, but if you are still interested in going this route, check out Parker College in Dallas. They have a great reputation.
The American Holistic Nurses Association, accredited by ANCC supports CAM. Enough said.
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