Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Expanding Medical Horizons
|Course Name||Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Expanding Medical Horizons|
|Course Catagory||Nursing and General Healthcare|
Upon successful completion of this module, you will be able to:
- List the adverse effects and precautions for 21 complementary healthcare practices.
- Identify research studies that support the use of complementary therapies.
- Identify organizations and certifying bodies for complementary modalities.
- Indicate important information related to phytomedicine and regulation of the herbal industry
- Identify benefits and risks of herbal medicines.
- Indicate concerns regarding educating patients about using herbs and the future of herbal medicine.
Course InformationThe use of complementary and alternative medicine has become a phenomenon too massive to ignore. Schools are granting doctorates in naturopathy. Among patients who see mainstream healthcare professionals, one-third use herbal remedies, although many fail to disclose this information to their primary healthcare provider. In 1997, the herbal industry constituted a $3.2 billion business and continues to grow at 25% annually. In fact, some reports indicate that about 80% of the worldıs population uses herbs for medicinal purposes.
Despite efforts by healthcare professionals to keep pace with an ever-growing body of factual medical evidence, share that knowledge with patients, and continue to offer new FDA-approved pharmaceuticals, devices, and procedures at an almost alarming rate, the general public still feels the need to reach out for something extra. In an increasing number of instances, that something is herbal medicine.
Studies indicate that many patients who use alternative medicines and also seek conventional treatment tend to exercise more; be more careful about avoiding fatty foods, tobacco, and alcohol; be more compliant with taking their regular medications, and make lifestyle modifications more readily than patients who seek conventional healthcare only. Consequently, todayıs healthcare professionals need to educate themselves on which complementary and alternative medicines are helpful, which are harmful, which are ineffective, and which lack sufficient data about safety and efficacy.