How Holistic Nursing Utilizes Preventive Medicine to Benefit Health Care

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Holistic nurses prioritize providing care that is aimed at healing the “whole person,” that is, the patient’s mind, body, and spirit.[2] Promoting lifetime wellness and health is a key objective of holistic nurses—because for their patients to maintain a desirable quality of life, they need the best knowledge for dealing with physical and mental conditions and illnesses. Preventive medicine is central to this idea, as it keeps the idea of health at the forefront of an individual’s mind. To this effect, holistic nursing professionals can help their patients stay healthy for their entire life by using the following information about practicing preventive medicine.

What is preventive medicine?

Preventive medicine is holistic health care that is focused on educating people about securing desirable health outcomes as they grow older. It promotes building good habits that make a healthy lifestyle much easier to obtain and maintain. To accomplish this, nurses and other medical professionals educate their patients about preventing diseases, and about the critical aspects of maintaining health for a lifetime. Some examples include making intelligent eating choices; sleeping properly; getting regular exercise; and especially avoiding adverse substances like tobacco, alcohol, and harmful narcotics.[4] Through preventive medicine, nursing professionals can enhance their holistic nursing skillset, and offer their patients a highly effective means of maintaining optimal health and wellness.

How preventive medicine benefits patients

Patients who embrace preventive health care are likely to experience many benefits over the course of their lives, such as less chronic illnesses, lower medical expenses, and significantly better overall health and wellness. Preventive medicine involves taking steps to preemptively treat ailments, or remedy them entirely rather than waiting for acute symptoms to surface. This effectively saves patients from dealing with unnecessary pain and uncomfortable symptoms. For example, a long-term smoker is likely to suffer from a variety of debilitating respiratory conditions during their lifespan. Through preventive medicine and holistic nursing however, a nurse or other medical professional can educate this patient on the hazards of smoking before it becomes an addictive behavior.[4] Another example may include sexually active individuals who, with preemptive sexual education, may be prevented from unknowingly contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Lastly, one of the most highly beneficial and available forms of preventive medicine involves diet counseling and nutrition education. This can help save countless lives, especially since obesity is growing more prevalent in our society, and it is a strong contributor to potentially life threatening chronic conditions.

Preventive medicine keeps communities healthy

In communities that lack preventive health care efforts, there is often an increased risk of chronic disease. This, in turn, places more significant burdens on the medical facilities in that area. In extreme cases, the number of people suffering from chronic illness may overwhelm local facilities, resulting in overworked and understaffed hospitals, clinics, and surgery centers.[2] This inevitably results in a decline in the quality of health care that is delivered, while causing medical expenses to rise. In addition, because of the diminishing health of the local population, the average costs for health insurance can rise, and access to health care can further lessen as the medical system becomes more strained. It’s clear that the cost of ignoring preventive medicine has simply grown too high.

Collaboration promotes preventive medicine

To avoid poor health outcomes, holistic nurses are advised to promote preventive medicine regularly with all their patients. When medical professionals join with other leaders to promote preventive care, everyone benefits. These promotional efforts may take the form of local classes, civic meetings, or seminars that instruct attendees how to build a community culture of preventive medicine. These efforts can significantly improve health and wellness within a community.[1] Engaging with children at an early age is another important promotional strategy, to teach them the fundamentals of preventive health care. When negative behaviors are left unchecked during childhood and adolescence, they can become engrained habits that are increasingly difficult to break, especially in adulthood. Advising children while they are still young helps build an early foundation of good habits, improving their opportunity to realize positive health outcomes in the future.

When holistic nurses and other medical professionals work to actively share the value of preventive medicine, they start a positive chain reaction in communities, in patient populations, and among their peers who want to know more. To learn to provide preventive care and instruct others in its best methods, nurses should look into completing a Doctorate of Science in Nursing. This will widen their view of health care, and teach them the practical and interpersonal skills necessary to effectively promote the advancement of preventive medicine.

Learn More

Health care is a dynamic and ever-evolving field, and more is now expected of nurse leaders. In fact, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has called for a doctoral level education to become the requirement for advanced practice nursing. Earning an online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) puts MSN-credentialed nurses like you at the forefront of the industry — prepared for leadership, nurse education, patient care, and to shape future policies and procedures in health care.

Recommended Readings

Patient Education and Chronic Pain
How Nurse Leaders Help Ensure Patient Confidentiality


3. World Research Foundation