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At which I provide for the Required Continuing Education needs of my professional certification and license, in part by examining some interesting Integrated Health Practices....

First day of the Washington State Council of Periperative Nurses (WSCPN) Mini-Congress is under way. Interesting first session, and no I'm not going into a lot of detail about it; suffice it to say it provided one with insights into one's values and how to weigh them in relationship to one's life. This is a good thing to do periodically; evaluate one's values, and in particular in relationship to the values of people in one's life.

The second session I attended provided some insights into Theraputic Touch and some other practices many RN's are now thinking of as "integrated" health practices rather than "complimentary." Why, you didn't ask (and I'm going to answer anyway)? Complementary is a word which does mean that the item/practice does compliment, does augment the concurrent practice. It also means that one is providing a positive reinforcement to someone or something. However, it is also coming to mean (if it doesn't truly already mean this) that something is 'free.'


Health care practitioners, regardless of their particular discipline, can not live on giving away freebies. We need to pay the mortgage and the power bill and the food bill just like everyone else. We do hold to a position that we intend to provide the best health care we can... hence bringing into play as many practices which will provide a positive result as possible. Integrated into the historical "mainstream" concepts of health care.

I am and have been for quite a while a firm believer in the position of "mind over matter" for lack of some better description. Those people I know who've survived health conditions which are considered 'terminal' for lengths of time beyond the projected 'norms' all maintained a very positive mental attitude about their situations. Conversely, the ones who've succumbed in relatively short periods of time are those who felt overwhelmed by circumstances and conditions. The mind does lead the body.

Modern medications are fabricated in highly controlled processes in buildings called 'plants.' Isn't it curious that aspirin, one of the most common pain relievers for a variety of maladies, is to be found in willow bark? Likewise for the parent of antibiotics, penicillin; a byproduct of a bread mold, excreted by the mold as a defense mechanism to promote its own survival. And while there are a number of synthetic narcotic pain medications available, all of them can trace their chemical heritage back to opium, a product of the poppy.

So these practices are not so far removed from the process of healing.

Lunch followed that, and if not spectacular I enjoyed it; taco salad (and I'm perversely quite happy providing TMI to you in mentioning I need the roughage while travelling... :-). Right now I'm relaxing before doing my presentation this afternoon, which while it directly discusses the process of using a specific software package for documenting patient care, also presents the guidelines underlying the entire process of that documentation. The biggest difference, to me, between how I record my interventions and their outcomes now is the size and shape of the pen. It used to be round, and generally pointed at one end. Now, it's sort of blocky and cubical.

Following that, I shall possibly attend a session discussion the implications of HIPPA (the Healthcare Information Portability and Privacy Act) on how we share the doucmentation of our interventions and their outcomes. Then again, I may decide to head back to the room, grab the camera, and go for a pleasant walk along the shore of Lake Chelan.

That, too, is one of those Integrated Health Practices, one which renews and heals my spirit.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 16th, 2004 01:34 am (UTC)
FYI, there are in fact two entirely different words with the same pronunciation but different spellings -- you used both spellings in your post, but with no sense of understanding that they don't mean the same thing.

"Complementary", with an E as the second vowel, carries the sense of something which augments or completes another thing. You sometimes hear people talking about having a "full complement" of personnel or equipment; that's a related term, referring to something being complete. "Complementary colors" are either those that go well together (if you're a decorator or fashion designer) or those which combine to make white light (if you're an artist).

"Complimentary", with an I as the second vowel, has two primary senses. You are being complimentary if you tell someone how much you like them or something they've done; and a complimentary item is a freebie.

The problem is that, as you have noted, the distinction between the two words is rapidly fading in common discourse -- and the winning sense is the second one, fueled by so many businesses offering "complimentary this" and "complimentary that" to woo customers. So I agree that renaming the kind of thing you're discussing to something less likely to produce confusion is a good thing; I'm just sorry that it's necessary to do so.
Oct. 16th, 2004 05:23 pm (UTC)
Whoa... Cool!
I learned something today! Thanks :-)

I suspect I may be able to dig out of old memory the distinctions you mention, but now I don't need to. And by golly, I did spell it both ways, didn't I? We will simply attribute the lapse to the beer. Or something. At least I spelt them both correctly, because the spell-check didn't burp.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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