12/03/2020
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1st Day of Natural Therapies Applied to Nursing Care

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A total of 80 nurses and professionals from other health branches are attending the 1st Conference on Natural Therapies for Nurses organised by the Natural Therapies Commission of the Official College of Nurses of the Balearic Islands (COIBA), with the collaboration of the Official College of Nurses of Barcelona and the Official College of Nurses of Zaragoza.

The motto of the day ‘Natural Therapies Applied to Nursing Care’ is related to the attention that nurses exercise in the needs of the patient, who demands more and more this type of technique.

The president of the COIBA, Rosa Mª Hernández Serra thanked during the presentation this nursing impulse towards the Natural Therapies, “we hope that all the expectations are fulfilled and that very soon, in the frame of analysis, reflection and debate of the Nursing Forum of the Mediterranean, constituted recently, and in which we sail together with the colleagues of the Schools of Barcelona, Valencia, Castellón, Alicante and Murcia, and to which we invite all those who want to join, we can meet again to share this knowledge.

According to the coordinator of the Natural Therapies Commission of COIBA, Marina Salas, we would say that these are non-invasive therapeutic interventions and one more resource that nurses can carry out in their workplaces. “Among them we could mention massage, relaxation, reflexology, hydrotherapy, phytotherapy and many others.

Florence Nigtingale (1858) already said “only nature heals and what we must do is put the person in the best conditions for nature to act”.

“The patient benefits by activating his own defenses, balance and harmony achieving his well-being: feeling of peace, self control, improvement of problems such as pain, insomnia, constipation, stress, suffering, fear, difficulty in facing new and difficult situations, etc.”

The first round table this morning discussed natural therapies in clinical practice. The Mental Health nurse, Luna Serna Montero, member of the Commission of Natural Therapies of COIBA, acted as moderator and commented that “the evidence of the results of their application in different health areas and the recommendations of the World Health Organization demand that we nurses are prepared to guide our patients in the process of choosing between the different complementary methods”.

Next, Lourdes Alcalá Aranda, a member of COIBA’s Natural Therapies Commission and a mental health nurse specialist who works in the Ib-Salut Mental Health Unit, located in the Red Cross, commented that “nurses play a fundamental role in providing the patient with a leading role in changing dysfunctional health patterns, providing tools that provoke behaviour changes in favour of healthier behaviours that reduce and eliminate risk factors”.

Tomás Fernández Fortún, nurse and director of the Department of Natural Nursing at the Official College of Nursing in Zaragoza explained therapeutic touch as a nursing function, “a scientifically based, non-invasive therapeutic intervention whose objective is to activate the natural potential of every human being to participate in their healing process, modulating the energy field”.

To conclude, Javier Mata Estévez, clinical head of the Anaesthesiology-Resuscitation and Pain Therapy Service at Son Llàtzer Hospital (Palma), explained that since 2006, acupuncture has been incorporated into the Pain Unit’s service portfolio as a complementary therapy to treatments for painful pathologies.

“The degree of patient satisfaction has been high, although it must be taken into account that in many cases it is applied when other therapies have failed”.

In this sense, he said that the number of patients requesting this type of treatment has been increasing, “which shows the need for its inclusion in the National Health System as a complementary therapy.

Regulation of Natural Therapies

The second round table, entitled Training and Accreditation, was the most eagerly awaited by the nurses attending, due to the differences between the various autonomous regions.

In this sense, Dr. Pablo Saz Peiro, director of the journal Natural Medicine and director of the Postgraduate course in Natural Medicine at the University of Zaragoza explained the difficulties of regulation in training, “the proposal of 2011 for the regulation of natural therapies is very good but it is made by non-healthcare people lacking the vision of the Professional Associations and the Faculties, that is to say, it lacks the integration of evidence with healthcare practice, as well as the political will to resolve laws and take advantage of resources”.

Tomás Fernández Fortún spoke about the existing official training in the different autonomous regions and explained that some universities in our country already have optional subjects within the nursing studies. In addition to courses of Expert and Masters with accreditation ECTS.

“The Accreditation Services of the different Autonomous Communities do not consider them postgraduate training, arguing the lack of regulation by the Ministry of Health, which leads us to the conclusion that there is still a long way to go”.

Núria Cuxart, director of Programs of the Col-legi Oficial d’Infermeres i Infermers de Barcelona (COIB) explained during her speech the COIB position on what they mean and how natural and complementary therapies are framed in nursing practice. In 2009 a system of own reconcommendation was launched, the Diploma of Accreditation and Training in Natural Therapies (DAC) with the intention of providing guarantees in the conditions of professional practice in this area.

“This system guarantees the level of knowledge, accumulated practical experience, participation in scientific events, teaching activity, publications and research activity achieved through a system of “peer recognition”.

The process of obtaining a CAD consists of three phases (1: Application, 2: Evaluation, 3: Certification and Recognition). “Before issuing a CAD, an accreditation committee assesses the merits of each candidate nurse”. So far, she is accredited in sophrology, therapeutic massage, foot reflexology, metamorphic technique, flower therapy, lymphatic drainage, phytotherapy and acupuncture.

It should be noted that the Official Co-legium of Nurses of the Balearic Islands is working to implement this accreditation for our nurses.

Natural therapies

The Quebec order of nurses in a document called “complementary care instruments define complementary therapies as the set of instruments that complement conventional means and that aim to protect, maintain and promote the health and quality of life of people”.

The World Health Organization (WHO) emphasizes the importance of the use of natural therapies and recommends that a harmonious and scientific development be carried out, and that measures be introduced for their regulation, since a large part of the population uses them.

In addition, it urges nurses to be prepared to guide their patients between different complementary methods, and says that some of these methods can be part of their therapeutic work with patients.

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