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Nurses’ and Midwives’ Acquisition of Competency in Spiritual Care


Holistic care becomes the gold standard of contemporary nursing and it will continue so in the future according to the prognoses made by the specialists in the area of health care development planning (Dossey & Keegan, 2016). The following project aims to summarize the information regarding the importance of shifting to a holistic care in contemporary medicine learned during this class.

The Principles and Essentials of Holistic Care

Holistic nursing care aims at achieving the optimal patient outcomes and providing cost-effective health care by means of addressing patients’ needs in every area of life including the physical needs, emotional needs, spiritual needs, and mental needs. The principles of holistic nursing care are holistic philosophy, holistic caring, holistic communication, holistic education, holistic research, and holistic self-education. The four essentials of the holistic caring process are the holistic caring process, the holistic attitudes and performance behaviors, advanced medical knowledge in pharmacology and pathophysiology, and advanced proficiency in ethics (Dossey & Keegan, 2016).

Patients’ Differences Implications to Holistic Care Plans Development

When developing a holistic plan of care, a nursing professional needs to mind the differences in patients (Kelly, 2012). The rationale for this statement is the fact that all patients have their unique background, needs, personal circumstances, world vision, and types of response to treatment (Brooker & Waugh, 2013).

The Similarities and Differences between Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Western Medicine

Contemporary and alternative and western medicine used to be the polar opposite notions a few centuries ago (Morgan & Yoder, 2012). However, with the progress of technology, education, and science, the boundaries began to disappear. Today, contemporary and western medicines are considered synonyms by most scholars. Interestingly, the gap between contemporary medicine and alternative medicine is also getting smaller. Such changes became possible after the development of the holistic care approach. Earlier, only alternative medicine saw a human being as a complex system that consists of physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental components (Morgan & Yoder, 2012). Today, contemporary medicine pays much attention to caring about both the physical and emotional needs of a patient as well as it focuses on a patient’s quality of life promotion and healthy living style celebration (Morgan & Yoder, 2012). However, the differences between contemporary medicine and alternative medicine still exist. Alternative medicine relies on untraditional therapies, procedures, and medications, while contemporary medicine still seeks to treat the majority of illnesses with pills (Morgan & Yoder, 2012).

The Role of Nutrition, Exercise, Humor and Music Therapy in Complementary and Alternative Medicine

An individual’s lifestyle and habits are proved to directly influence one’s health status (Brooker & Waugh, 2013). This axiom is currently one of the major foundation principles of care plans development both in contemporary and many types of alternative medicine (Brooker & Waugh, 2013). Nutrition and exercise are two major focus categories the health care providers mind during the treatment regime development since they directly impact the majority of a patient’s systems and organs. The positive trend to pay attention to more aspects of patients’ life in care plan development has currently spread to the broader range of activities. Today, the patient’s emotional condition is proved to be the same important factor affecting one’s health status as nutrition and physical activity (Brooker & Waugh, 2013). Therefore, care providers engaging in both traditional and alternative medicine do not fail to educate their patients on how they can use music and humor to improve their health.

Main Barriers to Changing Our Current Healthcare System to a More Integrative System of Care

The barriers that prevent our current healthcare system change to a more integrative system of care are the remaining lack of scientifically proved evidence supporting the value of one or another way of holistic treatment; lack of preparedness in care providers and especially of those ones that used to practice using traditional medicine in the era when holistic approach did not exist, and overall healthcare culture that acts as an obstacle of a positive transformation (Attard, Baldacchino, & Camilleri, 2014).

Case Summary and Care Plan Needs from the Point of View of Traditional and Alternative Medicine

The patient is an immigrant lady L. Kulesh of 67 years old. She is diagnosed with hypertension, elevated blood sugar, hair loss, arthritis, venous insufficiency, and sore limbs (knees, wrists, elbows). The patient has quite positive health beliefs and values as well as she has the satisfactory support system. Still, improvements can be made. The client is aware that her diet and lifestyle along with the emotional status affect her health condition. Therefore, she is on the healthy diet and engages in gardening activities in the local community club she is visiting. The main concerns in her case are poor relations with the mate and lack of communication with her daughter and grandchildren. These problems affect the patient’s emotional status. From the point of view of alternative medicine, these emotional problems need to be corrected with the use of music, humor, and wholesome communication with the people who share the patient’s world vision (Jackson, 2015). It is also recommended that the client continues to support connections with her compatriots because this will improve her emotional status. From the point of view of traditional medicine, the patient needs medication for her hypertension, elevated blood sugar, hair loss, arthritis, venous insufficiency, and sore limbs.

The Course Importance for My Professional Practice

This course became an important milestone for my practice. I have learnt that holistic care provides far better outcomes for clients. In a way, it is even related to some events that are difficult to explain by scientific facts. As such, holistic care may lead to healing in such cases when cure is impossible with the use of traditionally-accepted treatment strategies.

In my future professional practice, the valuable information learnt during this course will be even of greater importance since I aim to work as a family nurse practitioner and will work with the patients of all generations. This circumstance will make it especially important to be flexible in developing individual care plans for patients and find various ways to engage every particular individual into one’s disease prevention and health promotion process.


In conclusion, holistic care can be justly qualified as the best practice in nursing since this care model provides the best patient outcomes and helps cope with the key problems in health care such as low cost-effectiveness. Managing different patients requires the flexible approach from the health care provider since each individual has one’s own physical, spiritual, and emotional needs. Not only alternative but traditional medicine has paid more attention to holistic care approach currently. Therefore, it is necessary to continue to work to transform contemporary healthcare system with an objective to make holistic care its standard.


Attard, J., Baldacchino, D. R., & Camilleri, L. (2014). Nurses’ and midwives’ acquisition of competency in spiritual care: A focus on education. Nurse education today, 34(12), 1460-1466.

Brooker, C., & Waugh, A. (2013). Foundations of nursing practice: Fundamentals of holistic care. New York, NY: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Dossey, B. M., & Keegan, L. (2016). Holistic nursing: A handbook for practice (7th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Jackson, C. (2015). The AHNCC core competencies: a clear foundation for holistic leadership, teaching, and practice. Holistic Nursing Practice, 29(2), 117-118.

Kelly, P. (2012). Nursing leadership & management (3rd ed.). Delmar, NY: Cengage Learning.

Morgan, S., & Yoder, L. H. (2012). A concept analysis of person-centered care. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 30(1), 6-15.

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"Nurses’ and Midwives’ Acquisition of Competency in Spiritual Care." StudyKraken, 5 May 2022,

1. StudyKraken. "Nurses’ and Midwives’ Acquisition of Competency in Spiritual Care." May 5, 2022.


StudyKraken. "Nurses’ and Midwives’ Acquisition of Competency in Spiritual Care." May 5, 2022.


StudyKraken. 2022. "Nurses’ and Midwives’ Acquisition of Competency in Spiritual Care." May 5, 2022.


StudyKraken. (2022) 'Nurses’ and Midwives’ Acquisition of Competency in Spiritual Care'. 5 May.

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