YPSILANTI– Justin Carpenter, of Center Line, is a veteran of the emergency room, working as an ER nurse at St. John Hospital for six years. It can be a fast-paced environment that, in many cases, can lead to burnout.
Carpenter, a graduate student in nursing at Eastern Michigan University, decided to meet burnout head-on through holistic nursing, which is based on the idea of treating people as more than just physical ailments. Now his efforts are being recognized nationally.
The American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA) recently honored Carpenter with the Charlotte McGuire Education Scholarship for his commitment to holistic nursing practice and philosophy, and for his leadership in advancing holistic nursing.
He received a $1,000 scholarship for his EMU education awarded at the organization’s recent annual conference in Portland, Oregon.
“Holistic health care is about treating patients as whole beings – body, mind and spirit,” said Carpenter, who is a board-certified holistic nurse. “What got me interested in holistic nursing was when I realized that the care I was providing was lacking something. As nurses, we are often trained to treat patients from a physiologic perspective, ignoring their psychosocial and spiritual needs. That leads us to act more like technicians than caring nurses.”
Carpenter says true healing can occur for both the patient and the caregiver when people are treated as whole beings. He created a Renewal Room for other emergency room nurses to assist them in remaining calm and centered while working in a stressful environment. He also has integrated aromatherapy, guided imagery and caring science theory into the ER treatment process.
He was recently recognized by Eastern Michigan’s College of Health and Human Services as the Outstanding Master of Science in Nursing Student of the Year. Carpenter will graduate from Eastern Michigan with a master of science in nursing degree in Dec. 2014. After graduation, he plans on focusing on staff education in holistic nursing practices and to conduct research in holistic practices.
“I’m passionate about holistic nursing, because practicing nursing and medicine from a holistic perspective leads to a more fulfilling and sustainable care and a more complete health care system,” he said.
Carpenter is certified in Reiki, Korean Hand Therapy, Aromatherapy, Advance Cardiac Life Support and the Emergency Nursing Pediatric Course. He is a member of the AHNA, the Emergency Nurses Association, the Council for Healing Integration and the Holistic Nursing Conference Planning Committee.
Named in honor of the group’s founder Charlotte McGuire, the AHNA scholarship celebrates the commitment of nurses to the practice of holistic healthcare. More than $30,000 has been awarded to students in undergraduate and graduate programs related to holistic nursing since 1987.