Valley nurses using a spoonful of peppermint, sage, olive oil and lavender to help patients feel better
PHOENIX (Feb. 10, 2011) – Would you like to receive aromatherapy during your stay? This might sound like a question you would be asked when checking into a spa or resort, but one Valley hospital is asking patients this very question—and getting a positive response.
Aromatherapy uses essential oils for symptom relief associated with pain, stress, anxiety, sleep aid and nausea. For example, lavender is known as a calming agent, rosemary can decrease tension, and peppermint has a cooling effect when applied to the skin or inhaled through the nose.
Banner Estrella Medical Center physicians, recognizing the growing success of complementary therapies in medicine, provided funding for nurses to receive training and lead a pilot at the medical center. During a recent 30-day time period, more than 200 people requested the complementary therapy during their hospital stay. The program, because of its success—is now expanding.
“We have surgeons who request aromatherapy for patients before and after surgery. It’s used on cancer patients, heart patients and in the ICU,” said Linda Voyles, a nursing educator at Banner Estrella, who specializes in complementary therapies. “We are now looking into using aromatherapy in labor and delivery, as well as in the Emergency department waiting area.”
Nurses use five different oil blends that have been prepared and approved for use with patients. The blends are either applied during a hand or foot massage, or the mixture is placed on a cotton ball or piece of gauze so patients can breathe in the soothing remedies. Before applying aromatherapy to the patient, the nurse first notes any food or plant sensitivities and determines which blend would be most appropriate for the patient’s symptoms.
Aromatherapy doesn’t require a doctor’s order, but is recorded in the patient’s medical record. The integrative therapy team is thrilled the hospital has embraced this holistic tool to help care for patients and aid in the healing process.
“Aromatherapy is effective in alleviating many discomforts, such as anxiety, as well as minor aches and pains,” said Keron Bowen, director of Complementary Therapies. “We are using the therapy to support traditional Western medicine. We are seeing very positive results.”
Editor/Producer note: Members of the media are invited to experience the aromatherapy blends, as the nurses who specialize in these treatments are excited to share their healing recipes. Nurses and physicians are available for interviews. Please call Public Relations to coordinate.
About Banner Estrella Medical Center
Located on the southeast corner of the Loop 101 Freeway and Thomas Road, Banner Estrella Medical Center is a 214-bed full-service, non-profit hospital offering general surgery, orthopedics, women and infants services, a full cardiac program with open-heart surgery, emergency services, and medical imaging services. Banner Estrella is part of Banner Health, the leading provider of health care services in the Valley with 11 hospitals. In 2010, Thomson Reuters named Banner Health one of the Top Ten Hospital Systems in the U.S.
Tiffany Abbott or Rainey Holloway