Alternative Approaches to Healthcare and Nursing

Introduction

This paper discusses the Journal of Holistic Nursing, using a research article as an example of its focus. It explains the significance of the source and reviews its contribution to nursing practices. The paper examines an article on mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), providing a discussion on this method of disease management and its effectiveness. It concludes by discussing how advanced practice nurses can benefit from a holistic approach as well, incorporating it into their work.

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Journal Review

To conduct research, I have selected the Journal of Holistic Nursing. The source is the official journal of the American Holistic Nurses Association. It is concentrated on the holistic approach to caregivers’ work, providing information on clinical and individual wellness practices. The source claims to present an innovative approach to nursing, discussing the techniques that professionals can use to improve their skills and the concepts they can incorporate into their work.

It is crucial to mention that all of the materials are peer-reviewed, which ensures the high quality of the research (Journal of holistic nursing, n.d.). The journal is published both in print and online, which ensures that professionals always have access to up-to-date information. Some of the significant researches presented in recent issues include the ones analyzing caregiver concerns, spirituality in terminal illness, alternative therapies, and aging, and health.

I have chosen this journal because it is one of the notable academic sources on nursing that concern holism, which is the area of my interest. To me, the source must present valuable studies of holistic aspects of nursing practices that are aimed to expand the knowledge and education of nursing staff. However, it does not view such an approach as an equal alternative for traditional methods, suggesting that holistic practices can be a part of treatment. Notably, the source concerns both patients’ and nurses’ health and wellbeing, underlining that medical professionals must take care of themselves to be able to provide excellent care to others. I believe that such an approach to nursing is worth attention as it shows the nurses’ role from a different perspective.

Journal Article Review

For my study, I have selected the article by Williams, Simmons, and Tanabe (2015) that discusses how caregivers can implement the concept of mindfulness-based stress reduction as a nonpharmacologic clinical tool. The document suggests that, for advanced practice nurses, the proportion of responsibility for patient care is expected to grow within the next decade. It means that it is essential for care providers to expand their knowledge and practices using both pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic approaches.

The article suggests that complementary and holistic therapies have been used in the management of acute and chronic diseases for more than thirty years (Williams et al., 2015). Those practices include acupuncture, massage therapy, and mindfulness. The authors pay particular attention to mindfulness-based stress reduction as it is proven to be effective for improving both the physical and mental health of the patients.

Williams et al. (2015) note that John Kabat-Zinn developed the mindfulness approach in 1979. The techniques include a focus on breath and body scan and help the patients to understand what parts of their bodies need attention and to stop associating pain with negative emotions. Currently, scientists still investigate the reasons for this practice’s efficiency, proposing several psychology-based theories based on therapeutic contexts. They include intentionally attending with openness and nonjudgmental awareness theory (IAA) and pain management (Williams et al., 2015). Mindfulness initiates morphologic and functional changes in many areas of the brain, such as the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus (Williams et al., 2015). It proves that there are evidence-based reasons to consider such an approach in clinical practice.

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The authors address four core concepts that are linked to mindfulness practice, including awareness, acceptance, attention, and reperceiving. The study utilized an electronic database search method to investigate the potential benefits of MBSR for disease management. The results show that this practice can improve self-efficacy in the lifestyle organization of patients with chronic illnesses, as well as enhance physical and psychological outcomes. MBSR can be particularly useful in managing several common chronic conditions, including hypertension, the human immunodeficiency virus, and type II diabetes (Williams et al., 2015). The holistic approach cannot be used as a treatment of those illnesses; however, it ensures the improvement of patients’ quality of life.

I believe that one of the significant points discussed in the article is how caregivers can benefit from the holistic approach, as it can result in the improvement of their performance. Williams et al. (2015) address the growing demand for health care that is combined with long work hours and increased stress levels, pointing out that 40% of nurses experience burnout or emotional exhaustion during their careers. The study also shows that caregivers with such conditions are exposed to a higher frequency of medical mistakes, decreased quality of life, lower personal accomplishment, and are prone to depression (Williams et al., 2015).

Patient satisfaction plays a significant role too; its low level can contribute to the worsening of nurses’ psychological state. Mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques reportedly can reduce the levels of work-related distress and improve caregivers’ mental and physical health (Williams et al., 2015). It means that MBSR can be a tool to enhance the relationships between nurses and patients, help medical professionals to become more resilient, and improve the processes of diagnosing and decision making.

It is necessary to point out that mindfulness-based stress reduction is not intended to be a substitutionary practice; nurses can decide to incorporate it into their work if they find it beneficial. To do so, caregivers can attend MBSR classes or programs to gain knowledge and provide their patients with the necessary information. For example, if individuals experience anxiety, nurses can guide their breathing exercises.

Moreover, advanced practice nurses can make patient referrals to MBSR programs, as they work with groups of individuals that have been proven to benefit from such activities. In the United States, almost 1,000 mindfulness research centers are offering educational and therapeutical activities (Williams et al., 2015). It means that the practice is gaining more public attention due to its effectiveness.

Conclusion

The Journal of Holistic Nursing is a peer-reviewed source that discusses alternative approaches to medical care. Even though its methods cannot substitute traditional means of treatment, some of its concepts are proven to be beneficial to patients. Mindfulness-based stress reduction is a technique that can be used as an additional method of managing chronic diseases, cancer, and acute pain. Advanced practice nurses can incorporate it into their practice to ensure patients’ satisfaction and prevent themselves from emotional exhaustion.

References

Journal of Holistic Nursing (n.d.). Web.

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Williams, H., Simmons, L. A., & Tanabe, P. (2015). Mindfulness-based stress reduction in advanced nursing practice: A nonpharmacologic approach to health promotion, chronic disease management, and symptom control. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 33(3), 247-259.

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