Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM) (Nursing)

by Samantha Rhea, MSN, RN

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    00:01 Hi, guys, welcome to complementary alternative medicines, otherwise known as CAM for short.

    00:07 So this is an increasingly popular topic nowadays.

    00:11 As you can imagine, when you're ill and you go to the doctor, you typically get different treatments or medications.

    00:18 A lot of the times we have really unwanted side effects from those.

    00:22 So that's not fun.

    00:23 So other alternatives that we're going to look at is CAM therapy.

    00:28 Now, before we dive in CAM therapy, let's take a minute and talk about the difference between that and Western or traditional medicine.

    00:37 We call that allopathic medicine.

    00:39 So, again, otherwise known as either traditional medicine or Western medicine.

    00:44 So this is the stuff you're going to see, like let's say you go to the doctor because you're sick, they may give you an antibiotic, for example.

    00:52 That's a great example of Western medicine.

    00:55 Now, this is typically good at treating the physical illness, but really emotionally doesn't make us feel better it doesn't help our spiritual needs or look at the holistic person.

    01:05 So that's the difference when CAM therapy comes in.

    01:08 This is the type of health practices that we use that's not used in Western medicine.

    01:15 Now, this is much better at looking at the holistic person, meaning those emotional, spiritual and even mental needs, for example.

    01:23 Now, many patients, remember, turned to complementary alternative medicine.

    01:28 And one thing to note, as a nurse, you're going to see your patients maybe bring these type of therapies in your facility.

    01:35 So please be diligent.

    01:37 Have a great conversation with your patient and make sure you consider your patient's choices and options.

    01:44 So let's take a look at different categories of CAM therapy.

    01:48 A really increasingly popular one is biologically-based therapies.

    01:53 This is going to look like the use of herbal products, for example, minerals, different types of dietary supplements.

    02:00 A great example of this is maybe your patient has removed gluten from their diet or maybe they're using a full plant-based diet, for example, for their health and wellness.

    02:10 Another really unique type of CAM therapy is what we call energy therapy.

    02:15 They're going to manipulate energy fields using light, sound, magnets and even personal touch.

    02:22 And don't forget the use of manipulation.

    02:25 This can be really helpful for our patients.

    02:28 This is going to look like chiropractic or massage therapy, for example.

    02:31 I don't know about you, but a good massage definitely helps to work out all those kinks and those knots in your back and reduce stress.

    02:40 And don't forget about moving the body.

    02:42 Yoga's a great example here because yoga is all over the place.

    02:46 It's really accessible.

    02:48 It also focuses on the holistic feeling of the person.

    02:52 Some patients choose to adopt whole medical systems.

    02:56 What this is going to look like is maybe traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathic medicine and acupuncture.

    03:02 The whole focus here is to get away from traditional medicine and go a holistic or CAM route.

    03:10 Now, let's talk about just some easy nurse accessible therapies that you could use either for even yourself or your patients.

    03:17 So one of these is relaxation therapy.

    03:19 So this is easy to do in a patient's room.

    03:22 We can dim the lights, have the patients relax, try to remove any sort of excess stimuli that the patient may have in their room to help them decompress.

    03:32 Next, meditation and breathing.

    03:35 So here's something that we totally underestimate as nurses, as just having the patient deep breathe and exhale.

    03:43 Take an inhale and deep breath.

    03:45 A lot of times with my nursing students, I will suggest this before a big test.

    03:50 And lastly, a really neat type of therapy is called imagery, guys.

    03:55 Here's a great example of how this can be used in medicine.

    03:59 There's something called mirror box therapy.

    04:01 Have you ever heard of it? Well, they actually use this for patients with phantom limb pain.

    04:07 What I mean by this is some diabetics, due to other complications, they have to have an amputation of their leg.

    04:14 As you can imagine, there's a lot of pain associated with that.

    04:17 So what they can do is put a mirror where that amputated leg is.

    04:22 It tricks the patient's mind to think that that amputated leg is still there.

    04:27 It actually reduces pain for patients, guys.

    04:29 And this is completely noninvasive.

    04:33 Now, let's take a look at some holistic care pieces that we can implement as interventions with our patients.

    04:39 So don't forget about that relaxation therapy guys, and also music therapy.

    04:45 I don't know about you, but sometimes just different types of music definitely helps to relax and soothe the patient.

    04:51 And we can use this easily with our patients in any type of setting.

    04:55 There's that therapeutic touch, guys, and guided imagery as well.

    04:59 And don't forget about the acupuncture.

    05:02 Now, we talked about this a little bit before, but we talked about ayurveda and this is those alternative medicines, such as those minerals, herbs or special oils, for example.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM) (Nursing) by Samantha Rhea, MSN, RN is from the course Health and Wellness and Complementary Alternative Medicine (Nursing).

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Imagery
    2. Meditation and breathing
    3. Biologically based therapies
    4. Relaxation therapy
    1. Biologically based therapies
    2. Energy therapies
    3. Movement therapies
    4. Manipulative therapies
    5. Whole medical systems
    1. CAM is typically more focused on treating stress, emotional, and spiritual needs than allopathic medicine
    2. CAM is more prevalent in Western countries than allopathic medicine
    3. CAM is typically less focused on treating stress, emotional, and spiritual needs than allopathic medicine
    4. CAM therapies are more likely to be covered by medical insurance than allopathic medicine

    Author of lecture Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM) (Nursing)

     Samantha Rhea, MSN, RN

    Samantha Rhea, MSN, RN

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