Holistic nursing is a specialty practice that draws on nursing knowledge, theories, expertise and intuition to guide nurses in becoming therapeutic partners with people in their care. The holistic nurse is an instrument of healing and a facilitator in the healing process. Holistic nurses honor each individual’s subjective experience about health, health beliefs, and values. They are dedicated to healing the whole person.
From American Holistic Nurses’ Association website:
What is a Holistic Nurse?
A holistic nurse is a legally licensed nurse who takes a holistic (mind-body-spirit-emotion) approach to the practice of traditional nursing. Holistic nursing is based on a body of knowledge, evidence-based research, sophisticated skill sets, defined standards of practice, and a philosophy of living and being that is grounded in caring, relationship, and interconnectedness.
CHNA envisions Holistic Nursing as a recognized nursing specialty with the Canadian Nurses Association. …
Ultimately, our intention is to ensure and continue to achieve a philosophy of … nursing including the following three characteristics: self-care, humanizing health care, and promoting wellness’ (Dobbie, 2007).
Information about the Specialization Program (Levels I and II), the format of study, evaluation, and admission requirements can be found on their website.
Of personal interest to me is that these nurses specialize in therapeutic and healing touch which I experienced when I was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer over 12 years ago. I was worried that I might be mentally resistant to the chemo, and that my body, in following my mind, might also at some level create barriers to the flow of the chemical soup. Having settled on chemo as my treatment of choice, I wanted to do everything I could to ensure it did its awful worst for the cancer cells and its best for me.
I knew that the counsellors at the Vancouver Cancer Centre were trained in healing touch so I arranged to have a session just before each chemo hook-up. Their treatments were tremendously calming and helped me become more fully open to the orange poison trickling into my circulatory system. Whether there have been longterm benefits, I have no idea. But at the time, instead of having to wait in the lounge with all the other cancer patients and their worried families, I was treated to a soothing session in a quiet space and was ushered from there directly to the ‘pump’ room — all anxiety dispelled & all attitudinal, emotional, and cellular channels wide open.