The Practical Integration Viability of CAM and Conventional Medicine Therapies example

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The Practical Integration Viability of CAM and Conventional Medicine Therapies


In addition to receiving conventional medical therapies and medicines, a vast majority of medical patients may concurrently seek the help or counsel of Complementary and Alternative Medical authorities without disclosing such to their health care provider or doctor. Complementary and Alternative Medicine are non-conventional and non-Western based alternative medical health care approaches. CAM-related health care may consist of yoga, meditation, acupuncture or the advocated ingestion of herbal or alternative medicinal remedies to cure ailments and diseases. Patient non-disclosure of such practices can be dangerous since such alternative practices, if used concurrently with conventional medical procedures, can prove to be counterproductive or life-threatening. Moreover, because CAM-related therapies are not scientifically tested or evidence-based vetted, they may be ineffective, dangerous or useless in helping unwitting and uninformed patient proponents. Clinical nurse practitioners can be used as liaisons between the patient, CAM practitioner and conventional doctor to better facilitate therapy integration. CAM-related therapies may also benefit from rigorous scientific testing to discern the safe from the unsafe and to obsolete the problem of non-disclosure. An answer to non-disclosure will have to be discovered in the future, since CAM-related medical strategies will only get more popular in the future.

The Practical Integration Viability of CAM and Conventional Medicine Therapies

Complementary and Alternative Medicine, as defined by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, which is one of the national health centers under the auspices of the National Institute of Health, is the patient utilization and advocacy of non-Western and non-conventional medical treatment practices (NIH, 2008). Complementary and Alternative Medicine, or CAM, is also known as Complementary and Integrative Health Care by the National Institute of Health. The term, “CAM,” constitutes a disparate variety of health care approaches and not just one (NIH, 2008). The term, “Complimentary,” means that a patient is incorporating contemporary CAM medical treatments concurrently with conventional medical care (NIH, 2008). “Alternative,” medical care implies that a patient is utilizing alternative medical care and alternative medical strategies in lieu of conventional medical care (NIH, 2008).

The controversies concerning the use, implementation and efficacy of CAM strategies and procedures are disparate and many. CAM health care strategies and procedures are not subject to the professional and scientific scrutiny of randomized, evidence-based preclinical trial testing like conventional Western medicine (Harlan, 2001). As much as 72 percent of Americans and adults do not disclose their use of CAM therapies to their main health care provider (Chao, et al, 2008). These rates of non-disclosure may have as much to do with racial and cultural barriers to adequate health care just as much as it may have to do with patient-preferred medical strategy preferences (Chao, et al, 2008). Currently, most CAM patient medical strategies and practices are professionally encouraged for integration into conventional Western medical practices (Chong, 2006).

In such cases, Nurse Specialists or clinical nurse practitioners are used as medical liaisons between the …

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