Cancer Patients Benefit from Students’ Holistic Care

Posted by on July 15, 2011

Nursing students offer massage and other comforting services to patients during chemotherapy 

Nursing students from Minnesota School of Business-Richfield applied clinical and patient relation skills to improve the treatment experience for oncology patients and others receiving infusions at St. John’s Hospital in Maplewood. 

The students, enrolled in Jamie St. Michel’s Integrative Holistic Care course, worked individually or in pairs to provide patients with massages, aromatherapy, acupressure, or soothing music. The students used their training to assess patients’ needs and results of the therapy.

Student Megan LeFlay gained valuable real-world knowledge during the service-learning project.

“I really felt I gained some insight into the holistic nursing process and how important therapeutic measures can be to the ill patient,” Le Flay said. “I realized how just a simple thing such as a smell or touch could relieve so much stress and anxiety.”

Patients receiving chemotherapy may experience nausea and other unpleasant side effects. Complementary treatments have been found to be effective in dealing with related emotional issues by reducing patients’ anxiety, stress, and boredom.

“This was one of the first clinicals for the students, and they were amazed at the power of their own presence,” St. Michel said.

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