Hospitals Are Using Essential Oils to Help Staff
By Caryn Gehlmman
I can’t begin to express how honored I feel to provide our local health care workers with essential oil options to help support them as they work relentlessly to face the enemy of COVID-19. Over the years, as a clinical aromatherapist, I’ve seen more and more hospitals using essential oils to provide comfort and care for their staff who give so much of themselves.
I recently interviewed Jennifer Nidalmia, Asante’s Resiliency Program Coordinator, about how health care workers can benefit from a holistic approach to their health and well-being. She also shares how we in the community can continue to support our hardworking health care workers.
Tell us about your background and your role at Asante.
I am an RN and critical care nurse by training. I have a passion for whole-person health, particularly for health care workers! In my current role at Asante, I help coordinate small and large acts and programs of resilience. This includes training and education around subjects like trauma, burnout, secondary traumatic stress, self-care and healthy work environments. My title is Asante Resiliency Program Coordinator. A dream job for bringing hope and normalizing that we all have soft underbellies around healing and wellness.
Healthcare workers are under tremendous stress right now. What are their biggest challenges the community should be aware of?
Healthcare workers (HCW’s) are steadfast, dedicated and willing to literally put their lives on the line to care for our community. Many are making tough decisions to not live in their own homes in order to protect their loved ones. They are facing new ways of doing work and multiple channels of information coming in all at once. HCW Personal Protection = Community Protection. The more access HCW’s have to protective equipment, decontamination and healthy self-care while at work, the better. The hospitals really are ready if the numbers of sick patients increase rapidly. The best thing our community can do is practice healthy habits, avoid the hospital and seek medical care through alternatives such as telemedicine. We are not trying to de-personalize healthcare, but trying to keep the disease under control.
What are your favorite essential oils and applications?
I am not an essential oil expert, but the other day, when I was feeling extremely stressed and negative, I walked into the E3 storefront and instantly felt my shoulders drop and my breathing slowed and deepened. I was truly down-regulated from my hyperdrive approach and experienced relief just from “smelling good smells”.
I am so grateful for e3’s Hand Sanitizer spray that I keep in my car, the Surface Sanitizer for my computer and desk, and for putting a spritz of the Resilience or Nerve Calming blend in the facemask I wear all day.
How did you connect with essential 3 and how have they assisted your team?
Andrew Sanis is an Asante manager and he has helped support many efforts at shaping policy to support caregivers who make the choice to include essential oils/aromatherapy in their personal or caregiving practice. After explaining my vision to Andrew about supporting our HCW’s with oils, he bridged with Caryn at essential 3. Her expertise in medical needs and extensive aromatherapy training is incomparable! She innovated very quickly a personal use spritzer delivery system (alcohol-based to further prevent virus spread) with blends very particular to resilience needs. She generously donated a sampler package that I have been sharing with frontline staff.
How do healthcare workers benefit from using essential oils? Are there any essential oils you’ve found particularly helpful during this current crisis?
Similar to my personal experience, HCW’s have shared with me the calming and peaceful side of using oils. They also feel cared for and a tenderness when offered a gift of the oils. We are really getting a lot of people loving the Nerve Calming, Protection, and Resilience Blends.
How can we show our support and appreciation for hard-working healthcare workers?
Stay home, love each other, and take good care of your own bodies and spirits. Wash your hands and know that COVID-19 does not discriminate: we are all in this together.
We recognize that there are layers to health and as HCW’s, we first address the physical. Every opportunity we get to address the spiritual, emotional and social elements of health is fulfilling for us. Our health care team includes spiritual caregivers, social workers, mental health providers, nutritionists and more. So it is not just doctors and nurses at the frontline. Kudos to all roles and individuals who are stepping up in this crisis.
Thank you, Jennifer, for sharing this update with us, and please convey our love and support to all the healthcare workers on the front line every day working hard to keep us safe. For over a decade, e3 has partnered with hospitals using essential oils as they develop aromatherapy programs. If you are looking to set a higher standard of care with integrative aromatherapy services, we can assist you in the selection of essential oils, the development of policies and procedures, and training for your staff on safe, effective application methods. Visit our Hospital page for more information.
To help you get through this stay-home crisis, sign-up for “Nurturing Resilience” — aromatherapy tips specifically designed for right now… to help you feel calm, centered, and inspired.