Complementary Care: Redefining Nursing for the New Millennium
The number of nurses who practice complementary therapies in Australia is unknown. Victoria, Bonawitt and Evans (1994) conducted a study of 130 nurses in independent, private and fee-for-service practice, and over half of the participants were complementary nurse therapists. The study found that only 19 per cent of independent/private nurses practice in institutional settings. Anecdotal evidence indicates that nurses who have trained in complementary therapies practice professionally outside the institutional setting, or utilise their skills with family and friends. This suggests that nurses recognise the need for a new approach to health care delivery. Nevertheless, for a number of reasons they may be reluctant to incorporate complementary health care into their practice.
- the need for a new model of care
- the socialisation of nurses
- power relationships within the health care system
- legal issues
- scientific paradigms
- professional gatekeeping.