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Attitudes and knowledge of nurses’ towards education on complementary & alternative medicine using the state of mississippi universities as a model

Author: 
Lashanda B. Brumfield, Ham Benghuzzi and Elgenaid Hamadain
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

The growing consumer demand for complementary and alternative therapies (CAM) in health care has had an effect on all health professionals. The discipline of nursing is rooted in many holistic processes but the role of providing such services has not been fully defined, including the state of Mississippi. Nurses are the members of the healthcare team who often initiate such a conversation with patients about CAM. For a starting point, we took a look at the state of Mississippi nurses and their feelings on CAM instruction in school curriculia or during professional continued education programs. This was a proactive descriptive quantitative study, with a sample size of 116 participants representing 16 higher education institutions. The survey was conducted during the Mississippi Nurses Association’s Annual Meetings & Conventions. The findings of this study demonstrated that overall 80% of nurses felt that their higher education institution did not provide adequate education on CAM. Fifty three percent reported actually taking some course that cover a component of CAM, suggesting that 95.6% feeling that the physician should be the one to communcate to patients about CAM use. Our findings highlighted the fact that Mississippi nurses feel unprepared in CAM education when communicating with their patients. Our findings also highlighted the associations between Mississippi nurses “feeling comfortable talking to their patients about CAM” and nurses attending a higher education institution within the state of Mississippi, with a P=0.857 (Chi Square). This study shine light on the need of higher education institutions to revisit nursing school’s study curricula to fit the continuously changing healthcare system and the popularity of CAM among patients.

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