In early April 2017, Rachel Trelstad-Porter and Amy Quarberg attended the 2nd International Integrative Nursing Symposium in Tucson, AZ, presenting on the Integrative Therapies program at Woodbury Senior Living. Rachel is the Director of Integrative Health and Wellness at Woodbury Senior Living and Amy is an Integrative Nurse Clinician at Woodbury Senior Living and at St John’s hospital. “Creating Compassionate Healthcare Systems” was the theme of the symposium, with attendees coming from Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Denmark, Turkey, Israel, and around the U.S. There was a large contingent of nurse leaders from Minnesota at the symposium. The Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of MN, as well as the University of Arizona in Tucson, are national leaders in integrative nursing.
Rachel and Amy shared discoveries and insights they’ve made while building the integrative health and wellness program at Woodbury Senior Living. They talked about how integrative therapies like massage, essential oils, energy therapies, guided imagery, and healing music can help to break the pain/anxiety cycle; how the caring connection between nurse and resident can bring hope; how important it is to care for the caregiver; and how much they love the chances to innovate and collaborate with other departments—bringing a synergy to the care given at Woodbury Senior Living.
The symposium allowed nurses to dialogue about current issues in health care; to explore new ways for self-care and wellbeing; and to consider opportunities for leadership, clinical care, education, and design thinking to enhance the care experience. The beautiful desert surroundings in Tucson provided a warm and welcome environment, and a chance to celebrate the Southwest traditions in Arizona.