In 1953 I was excited to be a nursing graduate in the State of Illinois. Since then I have practiced traditional nursing in a hospital setting and as a public health nurse, comprising over 35 years of experience. In 1984 I had a life changing injury to my shoulder that traditional medicine could not heal. Unsatisfied with the prospect of an immobilized arm, I searched for more answers and found holistic medicine. Ecstatic with the results I started practicing nursing on a holistic level providing energy medicine such as healing touch, Reiki, Magnified Healing, intuitive healing as well as other modalities. It is with this knowledge and experience that I poise to you this question… Where is the care in the health care system…?
In 1973 after intense lobbying, hospitals and health care providers were given a gift, a law that stated that their industries could be businesses for profit. Since that time, I have seen the health care system turn their focus from patient care to stock holders care.
Our country has gone from respecting the opinion of our trusted family doctors, a person who has had extensive schooling, 4 years at a university, 4 years of medical school, residency, fellowship… to a top down approach where in some cases a board of directors through the administration dictate the medical tests to be given. The more tests ordered the more procedures to be billed, the more money to be made. Too often we have gone from life to life, heart to heart, to a standard operating procedure regardless of the patient.
Currently, the United States spends more on health care than any other country in the world and yet we come in at #37 in our quality of health and wellness. The US Health Care ranked worse, dead last, in the developed world according to the 2014 commonwealth survey from TIME UK health. One of the most piercing revelations is that high rate expenditure (cost) for insurance does not commensurate to the satisfaction of patients or quality of service. We have the most expensive health care system and rank the lowest in terms of “efficiency, equity and outcomes”, according to the report.
In another study a few years ago, a group of fifteen health care professionals, policy planners, and scientists came together at Esalen Institute to create a vision for health care that moves from a focus on disease to a focus on health and healing. The goal of the meeting was to identify the barriers to integrating consciousness-oriented healing approaches into traditional health care settings and come up with innovative ways to overcome these barriers through the use of educational materials. Participants agreed that organized health care will be best served when it embraces a whole-person, integral approach that factors all aspects of the healing relationship and environment, including the role of consciousness.
One speaker, a physician, shared a perception that doctors are part of the treatment and not just agents dispensing cures. This doctor also emphasized the importance of connection, listening, and touch in clinical encounters. Another physician presented an ambitious project of bringing the outpatient model of integrative medicine into the hospital settings starting with the oncology wing of the hospital. He hopes to show that a multi-faceted approach to healing will decrease hospital costs and improve patient outcomes.
Integrated Health Care. This is a consumer driven movement that combines the best ideas and practices of alternative/complimentary with conventional medicine in order to maximize the body’s innate potential for self-healing – healing from within. Integrated care involves a partnership in which patient and practitioner together address healing on all levels: physical, psychological, and spiritual. This can be very empowering as the patient takes responsibility for their own well-being.
Nursing is also contributing to the return of care to the health care system. Nursing is one of the most sought after and thus fastest growing professions. Nurses make up the largest portion of health care workers. Nurses are the advocate for the patient and nursing is seen as one of the most trusted occupations. And the holistic arm of this industry the AHNA (American Holistic Nurses Association) is the fastest growing sub-specialty in nursing, ANA (American Nurses Association). From this we might conclude that there exists a ground swell for change. A cooperative between healthcare providers and patients. Both parties using all techniques for healing to create wholeness.
Peace, Love & Blessings,
Barbara Mader, RN, HTP, RM
High Mesa Healing Center
133 Mader Lane, PO Box 834
Alto, NM 88312