Pi Phi Chapter

Creating and Implementing a Plan for the Use of Essential Oils

Nursing Research on the Green

2012 Abstract

Jill Blackbourn, RN - Nursing Systems Specialist
Gundersen Lutheran

  • Background: Complementary Therapies are one way to enhance an environment that supports healing. Based on expressed interest from patients, staff and physicians discussions occurred regarding the use of essential oils for patient care.
  • Significance: Creating a well-organized plan for implementing a low-risk and beneficial complementary therapy and showing tangible enhanced patient and staff experiences would be instrumental in setting precedence for Gundersen Lutheran to adopt additional healing modalities.
  • Purpose/objective: To design and implement a pilot process that potentiates a healing environment through the use of essential oils with a specific patient population and can be expanded as appropriate for the organization.
  • Methods: In June of 2010, Gundersen Lutheran nursing leaders met with Val Lincoln PhD, Clinical Lead - Integrative Services, Woodwinds Health Campus. In July, 2010 and August, 2011, Dr. Lincoln presented healing environment information to Gundersen Lutheran nurses. Work continued October 2011 through January 2012 with interprofessional team meetings for project planning and development. A standard operating procedure was created. Education to staff occurred in January. January 31, 2012 was our Go-Live date for use of essential oils in our pilot peri-operative units and Ortho/Neuro unit with patients having surgery by Edward Riley, MD.
  • Results: Evaluation measures will include: quality of essential oil administration; surgery outcomes; patient perceptions of nausea, anxiety and pain; and patients’ and nurses’ perception of the experience using essential oils.
  • Clinical Implications: Patients will experience decreased anxiety, nausea and pain with the use of essential oils. While the goal is not to substitute essential oils for medication, we anticipate that patient use of essential oils will decrease the amount of medications used. Staff will understand the benefits of potentiating an optimal healing environment for our patients. The use of essential oils will serve as a reminder that there are multiple ways to create a healing environment.

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