One of the key aims of the coalition government is to shift society’s perception of ‘health’ towards a more holistic understanding and perspective. This is evident with the recent No Health without Mental Health outcomes strategy (Department of Health, 2011) that aims to promote physical and mental health as equal and inseparable components. I would like to ask students and others using the forum as to their experience of providing holistic care. For example, as a student mental health nurse do you feel comfortable and adequately skilled to care for patients with physical health care needs?, and vice versa for other nursing students on other pathways with regard to, for instance, mental health needs and awareness. Or does anyone perhaps hold the view that in order to improve holistic care and health outcomes student nursing programmes need to be more modernised and holistic focused - preparing students to be skilled in all aspects of nursing care i.e. mental, social and physical health?
Holistic care is defined and the value of this type of care in relation to conventional western medicine is discussed. Other interesting topics include the physical bird, the emotional bird, nutrition and special holistic therapies.
'preparing students to be skilled in all aspects of nursing care i.e. mental, social and physical health?'
Mark Miodownik, the materials scientist, was the subject of BBC Radio 4's The Life Scientific this week. He is very interested, in 'seeing the wood, not just an individual tree'.
There is an issue with many professions, including the clinical ones, that people tend to become more specialised and expert in ever narrower areas, as their carers progress: some end up as experts 'on the leaves of the Ash tree', and seeing things 'holistically' (seeing the wood as a whole) seems harder, the more specialised a person is.
Quite a lot of 'the consideration of what the best possible care would be' requires an over-view of the wood, not just expertise in one species of tree.