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Natural Awakenings Dallas -Fort Worth Metroplex Edition

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Promoting Resiliency in the Nursing Profession: American Holistic Nurses Association

Dec 30, 2020 09:30AM ● By Sheila Julson

Lyn McCright

The American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA) is a nonprofit specialty nursing association that serves more than 5,000 nurses and holistic healthcare professionals worldwide. The organization strives to promote holism in the nursing profession and believes, “Every nurse is a holistic nurse.”

Lyn McCright, leader of the Central Texas chapter of the AHNA, sees the organization as instrumental in bringing holism back to conventional health care. “We’re including alternative modalities, but in a holistic way,” she explains. “Lots of conventional healthcare is starting to include holistic modalities, but our three major tenets are taking care of the patient as a whole—the body, mind and spirit; including alternative modalities as appropriate, and they may not always be appropriate; and third, which I feel is the most important, is taking care of the nurse first.”

While some clinical and hospital settings are incorporating aromatherapy, relaxation and meditation rooms for their nurses, McCright notes that nurses often don’t have the time to partake in self-care modalities during their busy days. “So, we’re bringing holism directly to the nurse, so she or he can find one’s own resilience first, and move from there.”

McCright has been with AHNA for more than 10 years and says the organization has been one of the fastest-growing nursing associations because they include all clinical areas, so member nurses don’t see just one patient type. Any nurse is welcome to be a member, but the organization also accepts anyone from the public that is interested in holistic nursing.

This year, AHNA hopes to increase membership and feature their members as speakers for their monthly meetings. In March, when COVID-19 hit, the organization hosted weekly webinars so they could support nurses. Whether on the frontlines or elsewhere in the profession, McCright affirms the entire profession was impacted in one way or another. “It was a new situation for all of us,” she says.

McCright adds that there’s been a high level of burnout and growing dissatisfaction in the profession. “That level of dissatisfaction is now intersecting with the transformation coming within health care,” she advises. “AHNA continues to be an avenue of support for nurses that are burned out. It comes down to knowing that supportive peace is inside all of us, and it is that wisdom we all share that can be tapped into at any time. When we’re looking for resilience in ourselves, it helps us find our bearings, and when we find our bearings, we can help our colleagues find theirs.”

For more information about American Holistic Nurses Association, visit AHNA.org.

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