sees a changing role on the horizon for nurses.It's a role she
believes will add to the healing influence nurses have as complementary medicine therapies become integrated into medicine's mainstream approaches.Adams, associate nursing professor at the Mercy College of Health Sciences' School of Nursing, leads a course in complementary health care in the program's bachelor of science degree curriculum.Adams is the only certified holistic nursing instructor in central Iowa.
The course, only in its second semester as part of the college's nursing curriculum, exposes enrollees to holistic medicine.
"A holistic approach to nursing is at the foundation of the school's nursing education," says Adams
."This course extends that base by letting students explore complementary therapies, understand how their own involvement with patients impacts healing and broaden their own perspective regarding their own health."
The course comes on the heels of national trends research that shows Americans spent $27 billion of their own money for complementary therapies in 1997, about equal to how much they spent out-of-pocket for all physician services.Adams notes though that only about five percent of Americans are exclusively using complementary medicine, "so they're not disillusioned with traditional medicine, they just want other options.We're offering this course to give nurses the chance to learn about alternative healing methods to be prepared to address patients' healing needs," she
Journaling is a big part of the course, says Adams
, which lets students formulate their own personal holistic philosophy."We also spend time exploring how a nurse's presence and personal approach to her
own health can impact the healing of patients," says Adams