Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Welcome to Vickie’s Research Corner.
Over the past several years here we have had so many interesting research studies. I would like to introduce you to Irma Patrick; she is currently the manager of Cardiac/Renal. She has worked at St. Joseph’s Hospital since 1997. She just finished her Masters in Nursing with a focus in Leadership at California State University Fullerton this past year. As part of her Master’s project, Irma decided to try her hand at research. Her study was called “Use of Healing touch Self-Care Technique to Reduce Stress in Bedside Nurses: A Pilot Study.
When asked how she became interested in her study she stated that “I decided to research Healing Touch. I developed interest in energy work after attending a meditation seminar in Hawaii. I then decided to take a Healing Touch class. Once I started my Masters program I realized I have an avenue to perform research in this area and wanted to get away from just studying clinical practice.”
Healing Touch Program (2009) explains that human energy system is made up of an energy field (aura), energy centers (chakras), and energy tracts (meridians) and that they work interdependently and influence physical, emotional, mental and spiritual life. Desired outcomes of HT are achieved when there is an unimpeded flow of energy and balancing of the energy field.
According to her literature review nurses who perceive themselves as healers often feel unsupported in their work environments. Often many nurses do not have a good work balance and do not practice self-care. Alternative therapies allowing nurses to self heal may help to decrease stress and avoid burnout. Several studies identified that healing touch reduced stress.
Irma worked with her chair who happened to be our own Dana Rutledge. They developed the pilot study. The study questioned if performing healing touch self-care technique for 15 minutes during a work shift reduce levels of stress during the shift. This study was a randomized clinical controlled trial. Eight nurses from each shift from the Cardiac Renal Unit were invited and they must have attended a Watson’s Caritas Summit and volunteered for the study. Nurses were randomized into two groups- intervention of Healing Touch and the control group who just took a break for 20 minutes and could do whatever they wanted on their break.
The results of the study were very positive! The tool used measured positive and negative feelings of the intervention pre and post intervention. The results demonstrated that both groups experiences increased positive feelings and decreased negative feelings (p<0.001). There was a significant time effect with decreasing negative feelings (p=0.038) with nurses in the Healing Touch group having a greater decrease in negative feeling than those in the control group. Overall Irma was very happy with her study especially since she has never done a study before. She would eventually like to do a larger study and continues to work on her Healing Touch study with a goal of certification through ANCC.- Irma and 8 other volunteers offered brief Healing Touch sessions to attendees of the Cultivating Optimal Healing Environments Conference held at St Joes on May 3, 2011. She will be taking the Level 4 Healing Touchclass in February at The Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange Center for Spiritual Development.

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