Patient-centered care has always been a major focus at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center but the Nursing Department’s newest effort really demonstrates how important satisfying our patients’ needs and improving their experience is to the hospital.
Jamaica Hospital is now incorporating a holistic approach to the care we provide in multiple areas. Through the addition of a Certified Holistic Nurse trained in various holistic modalities, hand and foot massages (reflexology) are now being provided as a consultative service and have been shown to be very beneficial to both patients and providers.
One important benefit of reflexology is that it relaxes the patient during what can be an anxiety-filled time for them. Patients often find that a few minutes of quiet time and gentle touch offers them an opportunity to release tension and feel more at ease. When patients feel more comfortable, it creates an atmosphere that allows for better communication leading to better care.
According to Janis Sharkey, Certified Holistic Nurse, “the healing power of touch can make all the difference for the patient’s experience. By taking a holistic approach, we are focusing on healing the many factors that influence us mentally and emotionally as well as physically.” Research has indicated that gentle touch not only reduces stress and anxiety, but it can also minimize pain, increase blood circulation, and support immune function.
Additionally, Ms. Sharkey has worked with new mothers by teaching them movement skills based on the Alexander Technique, an educational process that develops the ability to realign posture and avoid unnecessary muscular tension. By applying the Alexander principles when lifting or carrying they can avoid back and neck injuries. She also teaches these and other principles to hospital staff and new hires during orientation to equip them with the skills to avoid injury and nurture self-care.
In the hospital’s Ambulatory Surgery Unit Janis has trained staff to provide holistic care to patients awaiting surgery. They provide reflexology to patients in a quiet environment surrounded by soothing music selected for relaxation. Since this protocol has been initiated there has been a notable decrease in requests for pain medication as well as faster recovery times.
Whether being offered to our patients or our staff, the benefits of holistic care are numerous and Jamaica Hospital is happy to offer this service to all.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.