Open Accessibility Menu
Hide

Aromatherapy and essential oils have a place in patient care

Aromatherapy and essential oils have a place in patient care

The use of essential oils extracted from plants and flowers dates back to 3,000 BC. Used all over the world, these oils can calm emotions, relax muscle tension and promote rest by triggering changes in the parts of the brain associated with memory and emotion and stimulating beneficial physiological responses. Essential oils are distilled from plants like lavender, peppermint and many others.

Renewed interest in the benefits of essential oils has influenced the nursing staff at Campbell County Health (CCH) to implement an essential oils program as part of integrated care plans for patients in Campbell County Memorial Hospital (CCMH) and residents at The Legacy Living and Rehabilitation Center in Gillette, Wyoming.

Essential oils are meant to work in tandem with medications to enhance wellness and comfort. They do not require a physician’s order and patients have a choice in whether to use them. The oils will be used both in aromatherapy and topically (on the skin) for symptoms and conditions such as insomnia (because it promotes rest), nausea and vomiting (because it calms upset stomachs), and pain.

Extensive planning and research has gone into the development of using essential oils in patient care, which will begin this month. Unit nurse educator and 25-year veteran nurse Marcia Saunders is excited to get the program going.

“Offering an alternative to medications for some symptoms is very attractive to many patients,” said Marcia.

CCMH has partnered with a reputable essential oil provider so patients have access to additional resources after discharge.

Note: Essential oils are not regulated by the FDA, so they cannot be used to treat a specific diagnosis.