6 Ways Nurse Educators Play a Part in Promoting Holistic Healthcare

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Sarah Williams

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Nurse educators play a vital role in the healthcare industry. They train and educate the next generation of professional nurses. They strengthen the nursing workforce while serving as role models to future nurses. They utilize their leadership qualities to implement evidence-based practices and ensure that incoming batches receive quality education and adequate training to work in diverse and evolving healthcare settings.

Nurse educators use a traditional way of teaching. They instruct their students using a curriculum that they designed. Nurse educators are passionate and learn to keep up with the latest technologies in medicine, training, technology, and education to effectively prepare the future nursing workforce.

holistic healthcare

Nurses graduating with advanced degrees can opt to work in academia or leadership roles in the healthcare industry. Education, experience, and licenses are required to become a nurse educator. Various universities across the US offer online and part-time degrees for the convenience of students. Nurses wanting to become educators in their fields can pursue an MSN in Nursing Education or another relevant degree.

Nurse educators are in demand to train the future generation of nurses. According to the bureau of labor statistics, the profession is expected to grow 2.3% in the next decade with 61,100 job openings each year, making it a promising career with plenty of job opportunities.

What is Holistic Healthcare?

A holistic healthcare approach focuses on the overall wellness of the patient instead of just their illness. It encourages healthcare providers to recognize the multidimensional aspects (mental, social, physical, spiritual, emotional, and intellectual) of wellness. This approach helps to treat the leading cause of the disease instead of just the symptoms. Nurse educators also promote holistic healthcare provision in their students. How? Let’s discuss some ways they do so.

1. Assess Prior Knowledge

Nurse educators assess their students’ knowledge, skills, and innate abilities. They consider their students’ prior knowledge about a specific topic at the beginning of each class and observe how different students approach the topic according to their understanding.

Assessing prior knowledge will help educators understand what their students know about holistic healthcare. It will allow educators to design their holistic care-focused topics accordingly. Cultural competence can play a crucial role in holistic healthcare. Educators can identify the cultural knowledge of their students and teach them about cultural competence to optimize their holistic care provision.

2. Encourage Contextual Learning

Contextual knowledge enables students to apply nursing concepts to real-life situations. Conceptual knowledge of holistic care helps students understand its meaning and encourages them to apply it in their nursing practice, education, research, and theory development.

Contextual learning encourages nurse students to consider the other aspects of the patient’s needs other than the physical aspect. It teaches them the effects of emotional and mental health on physical health and encourages them to consider all these factors and provide holistic healthcare to their patients.

3. Promote Interconnectedness

Creating healthy professional relationships with patients is beneficial for nurses. It helps them improve the quality of their care and better patient outcome. The interconnectedness between nursing students and researchers studying the impacts of holistic care also helps students better understand how crucial holistic healthcare is.

Holistic care is focused on providing support to the patient as a whole and not just their specific health needs. Therefore, interacting with patients mindfully and forming healthy connections with them allows them to share their struggles that might be causing their symptoms.

4. Promote Self-Care

Nurse educators should educate their students about the importance of self-care as they can only nurture others by nurturing themselves first. Educators can share their own self-care experiences with students to encourage them to invest in personal well-being. Moreover, be a role model for them and incorporate self-care practices in your lifestyle for them to learn. Educators can employ complementary and alternative medicine techniques to help students reduce stress, handle anxiety and improve overall wellness.

The entire process of self-care teaches nurse students a lot. They can share their experience with their patients and provide them with tips to take better care of themselves. They can help their patients realize that self-care will empower them to live healthy lives.

5. Bridge the Gaps

Educators should understand their students to help them resolve any past issues that may hinder their learning. They should design their curriculum to include relevant real-life case studies to explore the needs of their students and can integrate other examples to meet them where they are.

An integrated curriculum will encourage nurse students to provide effective nursing care. By resolving their own issues, they are in a better state of mind to understand and provide holistic healthcare to their patients. Patients of all backgrounds are often not provided with holistic care. However, teaching students to bridge the gaps of culture, religion, and ethnicity encourages them to connect with their patients and provide them with the best possible holistic care.

6. Provide Clinical Training

Another crucial aspect of preparing nurses for holistic healthcare is clinical training. They should be taught nursing procedures and adequately trained to provide holistic care. Practice during clinical training will empower students to exercise holistic care after the beginning of their practice.

According to an NCBI paper, it has been reported that practice-based teaching increases the understanding of holistic care. It helps students understand that apart from the physical problems, other factors like mental and emotional problems should be given equal importance to ensure early and long-lasting recovery of the patients.

The Bottom Line

Holistic healthcare focuses on providing care to the patient as a whole. It doesn’t focus on one aspect of the illness while ignoring the rest. Nurse educators perform a crucial job of educating the next generation of nurses. They understand the importance of holistic healthcare and use different ways to promote holistic healthcare. They assess the prior knowledge of their students to understand their perspectives and resolve any issues that can hinder them from delivering holistic care to their patients. They encourage contextual learning and interconnectedness to bridge the gaps of culture, ethnicity, and religion.

Moreover, they encourage self-care in their students as they can only care for others if they care for themselves first. Lastly, nurse educators prioritize practical education to educate students about holistic healthcare. Clinical training empowers them with the skills required to provide holistic care. Hopefully, this article has highlighted some of the ways nurse educators can promote holistic healthcare.

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