Complementary therapies in healthcare: Design, implementation and evaluation of an elective course for undergraduate students

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Journal Article
Nurse Education in Practice, 2011, 11 (2), pp. 146 - 152
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Complementary therapies are making a significant and cost effective contribution to the health of the community, especially in relation to chronic disease management and prevention of disease. Because of the increased use of complementary therapies, nurses, and other health professionals need to be familiar with specific practices so that they can assist clients to make informed decisions in the use of these therapies. Importantly, with the increased interest in complementary therapies, there is a need to ensure these practices are safe, cause no harm and are used to enhance the well-being of patients. This paper reports on the design, implementation and evaluation of a complementary therapies course and a linked Thai cultural studies tour. The course was implemented at The University of Newcastle for the first time in 2009 with an enrolment of 200 students. It is an elective course for both nursing students and those from other disciplines. In this paper we describe the reasons for the introduction of this course and its value in nursing education. We then provide an overview of the course and report on evaluation results from both the course and the Thai cultural studies tour. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
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