5 Powerful Holistic Nursing Practices That Take less than 5 Minutes

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Jen has been interested in holistic nursing practices since she was in nursing school. She has read a lot and even joined the American Holistic Nurses Association but hasn’t been able to find a job as a holistic nurse and is frustrated.

She’d like to apply what she has learned about holistic nursing to caring for patients, but it’s not in the job descriptions at her hospital.

Some nurses are like Jen and think that they can’t use holistic nursing practices if their job title doesn’t include the word holistic. However, any nurse in any role can utilize holistic nursing practices.

5 Powerful Holistic Nursing Practices that Any Nurse Can Do in Under 5 Minutes- Anywhere and at Any Time

  1. Mindfulness. As you are about to begin caring for a patient, take a moment to clear your mind and focus completely on that person.
    • While handwashing, think of what you are grateful for in your life. Take a moment to focus on your breathing to set it at a comfortable rate and rhythm.
    • Mindfulness helps manage stress and improve your awareness, presence, and satisfaction.
  2. Self-care isn’t selfish. The nurse is the instrument of healing. Self-care is how to plug into the source of your energy. 
    • Recharge yourself at work with aromatherapy to relieve anxiety, fear, and anger. You can keep a small vial of essential oil, perhaps lavender. Place a drop or two on your palm and rub your hand together. Hold your hands near your face, close your eyes and breathe.
    • Are you kind to yourself? Self-compassion lowers stress and makes you a better nurse.
    • Take time to breathe and stretch.
    • Connect with your colleagues.
  3. Listen to your patient. You can do this while you are doing a task.
    • Ask your patient curious questions. Hold the space while they tell their story. Listen deeply. Ask them about possible next steps. You don’t have to fix anything.
  4. AffirmationsAffirmations are intentional statements that can boost your self-confidence.
    • “I choose to trust my knowledge and skills.” An affirmation can help relieve stress. “I am doing the best I can for your patient, given the resources available.”
  5. Access your intuitive intelligence– Intuition happens when bits of perhaps unrelated information get stitched together. It’s a legitimate form of knowledge connected to relationships and a holistic understanding.
    • What does your heart/mind/body/soul want to tell you? Listen to it.

For more holistic nursing strategies, check out our post, Holistic Nursing Tips for Managing Stress & Avoiding Overwhelm at Work.

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Amy Kenefick Moore started her nursing career with Neonatal Intensive Care nursing and then became a Certified Nurse Midwife, practicing in Boston MA and Providence RI. She was a nurse practitioner in a large long-term care facility in western MA for nearly a decade before she joined the faculty at the University of Connecticut School of Nursing. She also held a joint appointment at the UConn School of Medicine. She has a PhD in Nursing and did a post-doctoral fellowship at Yale’s Center for Excellence in Chronic Illness Care.

In addition to being a Certified Nurse Midwife and Family Nurse Practitioner, she is certified as an Advanced Practice Holistic Nurse and a Health and Wellness Nurse Coach. She was in INCA cohort #18. Her nurse coaching training included a focus on the end of life.

Her nursing practice has been about quality of life throughout the lifespan. Both her long career in nursing and her personal life have taught her that it’s never too late to make things better than they would have been.

What can be made better and how that happens depends on the teamwork between the nurse and the client. A kind of magic happens as the possibilities unfold and the results emerge.

Amy has published research and stories about the human experience of health and illness. Her work in nursing theory development focuses on the nurse-client relationship and on practice models based on the concept of the sustaining presence of the nurse.

Sometimes the nurse’s client is a student and she has done research and theory work about the use of storytelling in that context. She believes that the nursing faculty role is an ideal situation in which to demonstrate the fine art of nursing practice.

Her coaching clients are often people who have had successful professional careers and are now faced with some kind of health-related situation. Sometimes the client is the person who has the condition and sometimes it’s their friend or family member. Sometimes clients are nurses who deal with health situations for a living.

Amy’s work is about helping people develop a practical understanding of their situation, identify personal goals and make changes in their lives. A priority is to stop the overwhelm and make it doable. Sometimes this even means figuring out the best thing that could happen and then going one step further. When that happens, it’s magical!

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