Nursing's role in complementary and alternative therapy use in critical care

Mary Fran Tracy, Ruth Lindquist

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Critical care nurses can expect to encounter more patients using CAT and increasing opportunities and requests for CAT use in their critical care environments. This provides an opportunity for nurses' involvement to shape proactively how the use of these therapies will unfold in critical care. This can be accomplished in various ways. Actively ask patients and families about use of CAT. Initiate discussions with colleagues and peers about professional and personal use of therapies. Explore the knowledge and education needed to administer specific CAT. Engage in research regarding the use of CAT in critical care. Identify experts in the institution and surrounding community. Encourage critical care units and institutions to consider how CAT should be implemented across the institution. From a broader perspective, nurses may become part of professional political processes shaping patient accessibility to CAT and the use of CAT in the discipline, across disciplines, and in healthcare settings and public domains. It is crucial that nurses not relinquish their role as traditional providers of CAT in providing safe, effective, and holistic care at the bedside of critically ill patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-294
Number of pages6
JournalCritical care nursing clinics of North America
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2003


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