HLT 306 WEEK 5 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).

HLT 306 WEEK 5 CAM and Patient Education

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.

HLT 306 WEEK 5 CAM and Patient Education References

  • 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. https://doi.org/10.1080/1059924X.2019.1592049
  • 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. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12906-020-02903-w
  • National Cancer Institute (n.d.). Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Accessed July 22, 2022 from https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam
  • Varkey, B. (2021). Principles of clinical ethics and their application to practice. Medical Principles and Practice30(1), 17-28. https://doi.org/10.1159/000509119

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