INTEGRATIVE SERVICES’ OFFERINGS, LIKE AROMATHERAPY, HELP KAPI‘OLANI CARE FOR THE WHOLE PATIENT.
WHEN THE CHILDREN AT KAPI‘OLANI MEDICAL CENTER FOR WOMEN & CHILDREN ARE GOING THROUGH THEIR TREATMENT, THEY (AND THEIR FAMILIES) MAY REST ASSURED THAT THEY’RE RECEIVING OPTIMAL CARE FOR WHATEVER MAY AIL THEM.
In addition to their standard medical care, Kapi‘olani aims to care for the whole child, which is where Integrated Services comes in. Part of the hospital’s Child Life Services department, this program—which is promotes relaxation and healing for patients and families through a holistic perspective. Integrated Services are offered by volunteers who are trained in mind- body healing modalities such as heal- ing touch, reiki, infant massage and aromatherapy.
“Complementary healing modalities that promote wellbeing in a non-invasive and gentle way … address one’s mind, body, emotions and spirit,” says Francine Chang, RN, LMT, Integrative Services Coordinator.
One of these modalities, aromatherapy helps alleviate symptoms of nausea, fatigue and anxiety while also promoting relaxation via the use of scent of essential oils.
“Our oils that we use are peppermint, spearmint, orange, lemon and lavender,” Chang says. “Each oil has its own benefits and uses for patients. At Kapi‘olani, we use inhalation with essential oils. Smelling pure essential oils stimulates the olfactory nerve (nose) and limbic system (part of the brain that stores personal memories). Each person will be affected in their own individual way.
For example, some patients will use it for pain, nausea and general wellness.”
According to Chang, a patient will usually receive aromatherapy treatment because they’re requested it or a medical staff makes a referral. “Depending on what the patient may need, we do incorporate breathing and/or meditation with inhaling aromatherapy of their choice,” she explains. “We do explain benefits for each of the oils that we have so that patient and their families may see which one would best help them and also to understand what they are using. We always check with patients to see if they have any allergies or concerns or questions with regards to the essential oils.”
She adds that there are many requests for aromatherapy, which is a complementary service, and that each patient is assessed by an Integrated Service Coordinator or Child Life Specialist.
“Some of our patients use aromatherapy for different procedures such as lumbar puncture, nausea and vomiting due to medications and with deep breathing if they are experiencing anxiety or pain,” Chang says.