Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) are terms that are becoming frequently used in the medical health care field, as it is becoming recognized as a valid field of treatment for patients. Alternative medicine seems to be catching the interest of many people and is not showing any signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Nick Angelis, who is the co-founder of The Grecian Garden, states that “A lot of people are opting to choose alternative medicine sources as their preferred treatment method, noting that costs associated with doctor’s consultation and purchasing prescribed medicine are too high.”
It’s worth noting that complementary and alternative medicine treatments differ regarding their compatibility levels with allopathic medicine. Complementary therapies are used as an addition to supplement conventional medical care prescribed by a patient’s health care provider.
While alternative medical practices are inclusive of more or less the same interventions as those contained within complementary therapies, they often end up wholly replacing conventional allopathic medical care.
Thus, they end up being the preferred primary treatment alternative for patients.
With the growing sparked interest in alternative medicine. Many health care professionals have begun questioning the safety of complementary and alternative medicine practices.
This guide is aimed at providing clarity on aspects of complementary and alternative medicine.
Categories of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)
CAM therapies can be broadly organized into two categories.
The first CAM category entails available nursing therapies that both aspiring nurses and licensed nurses can learn on one’s own accord, directly applying the acquired knowledge to patient care.
CAM category number two consists of specific training therapies. Nurses cannot perform this second category of CAM therapy without receiving adequate supplementary training.
Aspiring nurses or nurses who want to be licensed in providing this therapy category can enroll in an accelerated bachelors in a nursing program to receive the mandatory certification.
- Accessible Nursing Therapy. Therapies that fall under this category tend to be more general in their attributes.
This is so because they tend to use natural procedures to help patients feel better to empower them to cope with chronic pain and conditions.
These therapy procedures can be learned by nurses independently, and they can use it in their independent health caregiving practices.
Nursing-accessible therapies are aimed at educating individuals on how to alter their mannerisms to change their physical reactions to stress. This helps clients improve pain, sleep, and muscle tension discomfort.
- Specific Training Therapies. Training-specific treatments require nurses to complete an accelerated bachelors in nursing program before administering any form of therapy.
Nurses are mandated to possess a recognized nursing certification and a nursing degree before being allowed to administer this sort of therapy.
Training-specific therapy is aimed at equipping nurses with all the necessary knowledge and expertise to empower them to enlighten their patients regarding conceivable harmful effects of partaking in such therapies.
Aspects of Complementary Medicine Every Nurse Needs to Know.
- Some CAM Remedies are Backed by Evidence While Other Remedies Aren’t.
Angelis says, “Nurses need to be aware that complementary and alternative medicine covers a wide array. They range from miraculous to wholly fraudulent.”
This goes to show that the CAM industry is one that can be filled with scammers who want to profit from patients by propagating false usefulness of the advertised products.
Before recommending complementary and alternative therapies to clients, nurses need to ensure that market data and research back up their recommended therapies.
- Term Usage Varies Differently Among People.
Alternative and complementary medicine are terms that can be used to infer different meanings.
Despite this fact, they are often cropped into a blanketed CAM acronym. According to the American Holistic Nurses Association, complementary and alternative medicine are terms used to refer to health care alternatives that are different and considered unconventional medical practices.
It is worth pointing out that CAM is not administered independently, but rather it is used as a complement to conventional medical health care practice.
- Self-medication and Self-diagnosing are Dangerous Procedures Associated with CAM.
With the prevalence of the digital age, patients are prone to conducting self-diagnosis on themselves without consulting a nurse or health care practitioner.
Patients may end up demanding specific supplements to treat themselves, basing their decisions on written blog posts, or supplement product reviews.
Before purchasing supplements based on internet information, patients should strive to seek medical guidance from nursing consultants and doctors.
- Patient’s May Fail to Disclose Their use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Most patients do not reveal to their nurses that they are using CAM.
Nurses are encouraged to put their great communication and interpersonal skills to good use, to build up a non-judgmental rapport with patients to inspire trust and bonds.
With great communication, patients get comfortable to disclose information regarding their complementary and alternative medicine practices.
- A Firm Grip of Aspects related to Complementary and Alternative Medicine can Assist Nurses with Diagnosis.
As a nurse, understanding CAM medicine procedures can help with improving one’s creative angle regarding the treatment and diagnosis of a patient.
- CAM can be Used in Nursing Facilities, Clinics, or Hospitals.
This can include the use of FDA-approved supplements to ward off nausea and calm patients.
Courtney Allen-Gentry, who is commonly referred to as Nurse Courtney, says that “An act such as giving patients Chamomile tea to soothe a patients discomfort demonstrates how complementary and alternative medicine can be used to complement conventional medical care.”
- The Effectiveness of CAM is by Remembering to Wholly Care for the Patient.
Nurses should be enlightened on the importance of presenting their patients with a positive experience.
Nurses should possess nursing qualities and skills to allow them to fulfill their nursing duties with prowess.
Nursing institutions should carry out competency tests on nurses. This is to ensure that hired nurses are not in the career solely for job security but to provide gentle care, and conventional and unconventional guidance that patients seek.