By 2017, Parkview’s Holistic Nursing Committee pushed for the creation of a workforce-facing Holistic Response Team (HRT) to integrate holistic nursing treatments into workforce well-being. The sole FTE (full-time equivalent employee) of the Holistic Response Team, an HRT coordinator, oversees the HRT roster, currently consisting of 25 rounders. HRT rounding occurs Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. All members of the HRT commit to eight hours of monthly rounding. HRT rounders are paid for their services at the same rate as their base pay.1 Generally, rounders participate not for any financial incentive but rather because they view service with the HRT as a rewarding and manageable monthly commitment.
The recruitment and training of HRT participants was based on the importance of providing rounders with flexibility and choice. Parkview’s Holistic Nursing Committee enabled this flexibility and choice through several tactics:
- Conduct an annual holistic nursing survey: The Holistic Nursing Committee continues to send out an annual survey to monitor the impact of holistic nursing on the nursing workforce. The annual survey asks about familiarity with holistic nursing and also includes several questions around what types of holistic nursing education employees would like to receive. For example, they asked respondents to choose between 1– to 2-hour workshops, 4- to 8-hour trainings, or 2-day instruction leading to certification.
- Provide diverse training options: About a quarter of Parkview’s HRT rounders are certified in holistic nursing. While formal certification through the American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA) is encouraged for HRT participants, it is not mandatory. This enables non-nurses, such as physical therapists or medical assistants, to serve on the HRT. Non-certified HRT rounders receive three hours of one-on-one training with the HRT coordinator. This is followed by preceptorship for four hours of rounding.
Three main topics are covered in HRT training:
- Crisis intervention: What are the main crisis intervention techniques that an HRT rounder can employ, and how can HRT rounders make them most effective in various scenarios.
- Holistic practice areas: What are the different practice areas and modalities that are incorporated into holistic nursing practice, and how can rounders learn about them and incorporate them into their rounding.
- The HRT rounder as a first responder: How an HRT rounder is integrated into rapid response and Code Blue interventions.
Parkview’s Holistic Nursing Committee offers a wide array of courses focused on general holistic nursing practice, as well as on specific skills such as massage therapy or nutrition for healing. Some courses, primarily those aimed at formal AHNA certification, required participants to pay a fee, though this was subsidized partly by Parkview.
Additionally, HRT participants can count their rounding hours toward the hours needed for AHNA holistic nurse certification (48 practice hours are required for certification as a holistic nurse, and 100 hours every 5 years are needed to maintain one’s certification).
Reliance on individual skills: There are numerous practices that fall under holistic nursing. No single HRT participant is expected to be an expert in each practice area or to be trained in any of them. Interest in holistic nursing and a willingness to learn are the most important characteristics in selecting rounders. In this way, the HRT can recruit a highly varied group of rounders and enable each one to work comfortably in their areas of expertise.