CAM and Patient Education

CAM and Patient Education

CAM is an acronym used in medicine for complementary and alternative medicine. Complementary and alternative medicine means the medical practices and products that patients can use, despite the products and practices being included in the standard medical care (National Cancer Institute, n.d).

Patients mainly use complementary and alternative medicine to ease coping with side effects, comfort themselves, and contribute to their treatment. CAM includes therapies, massages, acupuncture, and homeopathy. For a patient to use CAM, the care provider should approve it.

Research shows that the patients who use CAM the most are well informed about their health conditions, patients with more than one condition, and patients who can afford CAM services (Fjaer et al., 2020). Middle-aged female patients of high socioeconomic groups are most likely to use CAM.

Some of the most common misconceptions about complementary and alternative medicine include that complementary and alternative medicine is only an alternative, meaning that the CAM dealers are not professionals. The CAM medicine is, however, tested and safe for use. Another misconception is that some medical institutions do not support alternative medicine. Also, people have the misconception that complementary and alternative medicine is ineffective.

The various methods of including CAM in patient education include creating awareness about the alternative medicine available for the patient (National Cancer Institute, n.d). Also, the care provider can include patient education on the safety concerns and the consequences that may come with the use of complementary and alternative medicine.

The care provider can also enlighten the patient on the complementary medicine approved by the relevant regulatory bodies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to avoid using harmful or not approved complementary and alternative medicine.

Safe use of complementary and alternative medicine involves using CAM methods that the relevant regulatory bodies have approved. Safe use of CAM also involves consulting with the care provider before using any alternative medicine.

Hence, the care provider determines if the alternative medicine will alter the current medical management of the patient. The care providers also know the CAM therapies already evaluated and approved for safe use. Therefore, to ensure patient safety, the care provider should only recommend the CAM that has been assessed and declared effective.

Conventional medicine is the system whereby healthcare professionals treat symptoms and diseases using surgery, medicine, and radiation. On the other hand, complementary and alternative medicine includes the use of therapies, acupuncture, and treatment massages. Conventional medicine and CAM can be integrated into several ways.

One of the ways to integrate the two is by using therapies together with medical prescriptions, such as progressive relaxation therapy after a surgical operation (Arcury et al., 2020). For example, a patient can use therapies to help the body relax after surgery.

Ethical theories are formal statements or abstractions that help people solve ethical dilemmas. Examples of ethical theories include deontology and utilitarianism. Ethical principles are the parts of ethical theories, including the guidelines used to defend or justify moral judgments (Varkey, 2021). Examples of ethical principles in healthcare are informed consent, autonomy, and non-maleficence. Values are the fundamental beliefs of a person that guide their actions and decisions.

Various ethical issues concerning patient education and compliance affect the professional/patient relationship. These ethical issues include conflicts on treatment goals and misunderstandings following issues of informed consent. The care providers should provide legible information materials in patient education.

The professional/ patient relationship may be affected by these issues since the professional is the patient’s primary information source. An excellent professional/patient relationship encourages the patient to cooperate, while a poor professional/patient relationship may be a barrier to the patient’s medical management.

Ethical patient education practices are the best practices in patient education, whereby patients can make their own decisions regarding the treatment they prefer and comply with. Ethical patient education also allows patients to exercise autonomy in making decisions out of their own volition. Ethical patient education practices guide the care providers in providing the best patient education lessons and help them deal with ethical dilemmas in patient education.

One of the major purposes of informed consent is protecting patient safety while maintaining ethical standards for the care provider. Informed consent means that the patient is competent enough to understand the treatment process, receives full disclosure and comprehends it, acts voluntarily, and consents to the proposed treatment actions (Varkey, 2021). Thus, ensuring informed consent protects the patient and the care provider, stating that the patient has enough information and agrees to participate in the treatment process.

The factors determining a patient’s ability to give informed consent include being of legal age and mental stability. If a patient is a minor, the guardian is responsible for providing informed consent about the medical management of the patient. Patients should also be mentally stable and able to decide out of their free will. Varkey (2021) also proposes the patients’ competence as one of the factors required to give informed consent. The patient being competent means that they should be able to understand and decide on the proposed treatment actions.

A sample informed consent form would be as follows: I have read and understood all the information concerning this medical procedure. I have had the opportunity to seek clarification for unclear points which have been provided. I comprehend that my participation is voluntary and out of the free will. I am allowed to withdraw at any given time without restrictions. I understand that I will maintain a copy of this consent form. Sign_ Date_

The communication process used by healthcare professionals when obtaining informed consent from the patient or family has four steps; information provision, education, obtaining consent, and documentation. The care provider begins by providing the relevant information about the proposed medical process while making clarifications. The second step is teaching the patient and family more about the illness and possible treatment options.

The care provider then obtains the patient’s written consent after ensuring that the patient fully understands the treatment process and is signing it voluntarily. The final step is documenting the informed consent, including the decision of treatment action taken.


Arcury, T. A., Furgurson, K. F., O’Hara, H. M., Miles, K., Chen, H., & Laurienti, P. J. (2019). Conventional and complementary therapy use among Mexican farmworkers in North Carolina: applying the I-CAM-Q. Journal of Agromedicine24(3), 257-267.

Fjær, E. L., Landet, E. R., McNamara, C. L., & Eikemo, T. A. (2020). The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in Europe. BMC Complementary Medicine And Therapies20(1), 108.

National Cancer Institute (n.d.). Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Accessed July 22, 2022 from

Varkey, B. (2021). Principles of clinical ethics and their application to practice. Medical Principles and Practice30(1), 17-28.

CAM and Patient Education Instructions

CN4001 Assessment Instructions
Photo Credit: PhotoAlto/Odilon Dimier / PhotoAlto Agency RF Collections / Getty Images

Review the details of your assessment including the rubric. You will have the ability to submit the assessment once you submit your required pre-assessments and engage with your Faculty Subject Matter Expert (SME) in a substantive way about the competency.

For this Performance Task Assessment, you will create a webinar that discusses the use of complementary and alternative medicines (CAM), and their uses for veterans with mental health issues, patients at the end of life, and those suffering from emerging and re-emerging diseases.

Submission Length: 8–10-minute video recording

To complete this Assessment, do the following:

Be sure to adhere to the indicated assignment length.
Before submitting your Assessment, carefully review the rubric. This is the same rubric the SME will use to evaluate your submission and it provides detailed criteria describing how to achieve or master the Competency. Many students find that understanding the requirements of the Assessment and the rubric criteria help them direct their focus and use their time most productively.

All submissions must follow the conventions of scholarly writing. Properly formatted APA citations and references must be provided where appropriate. Submissions that do not meet these expectations will be returned without scoring.

This assessment requires submission of one file, a video recording. Save your file as follows: CN4001_firstinitial_lastname (for example, CN4001_J_Smith).

When you are ready to upload your completed Assessment, use the Assessment tab on the top navigation menu.

Important Note: As a student taking this Competency, you agree that you may be required to submit your Assessment for textual similarity review to for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted Assessment materials will be included as source documents in the reference database solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of such materials. Use of the service is subject to the Usage Policy posted on the site.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Options Across the Lifespan
As a nurse leader, you are undoubtedly familiar with a wide array of medications and treatments for various injuries and illnesses. There are, however, times when traditional treatments may not be effective or appropriate, so having knowledge of complementary and alternative treatments is advantageous. In addition, nurse leaders should share their knowledge with colleagues and fellow nurses, and this is a goal of this Performance Task Assessment.

You have been charged with identifying CAM treatments and options for those at different stages of their lives and educating your colleagues about what you found. For this Assessment, you will prepare a video webinar where you locate and describe appropriate CAM treatments for different groups of people.

Your video webinar should be 8–10 minutes long, and you should use the Video Recorder function within Brightspace. In your recording, address the following:

Introduction: (~1 minute)

Explain what the term complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) means and why nurses should be aware of these options.
Explain one challenge associated with the nurse’s role in providing CAM options.
End of Life: (2–3 minutes)

Explain the difference between hospice and palliative care.
Describe the role of the nurse leader in caring for patients at the end of life.
Locate at least one resource that describes a CAM option that would be helpful for a patient at the end of life and explain why this option is appropriate.
Mental Health: (2–3 minutes)

Explain the impact that the mental health care nurse may have on veterans with mental health issues with regards to patient outcomes.
Locate at least one resource that describes a CAM option that would be helpful for a veteran with mental health issues and explain why this option is appropriate.
Emerging and Re-Emerging Diseases: (2–3 minutes)

Describe one emerging or re-emerging disease that the United States has seen in the past five years.
Describe the role of the nurse leader in preventing, addressing, and treating emerging and re-emerging diseases.
Locate at least one resource that describes a CAM option that would be helpful for a patient that has become infected with the disease you selected and explain why that option is appropriate.
Conclusion (~1 minute)

Briefly wrap up your webinar with a summary and encouragement for your colleagues.
Your appearance, diction, and vocabulary should reflect a professional presentation. You may use any visual aids that you feel add to the presentation, but none are required in addition to the video of yourself.

For assistance in using the Brightspace Video Note Software, view the following document:

Document: Video Note Student Guide (PDF)