This online Aromatherapy CE course was written by Barbara Jackson, a certified nurse aromatherapist. The course provides nurses with a focused overview of how to safely and effectively use lavender as a nursing intervention in a variety of clinical settings. It includes 13 case vignettes from actual nursing practice and a BONUS of six vignettes for nurses' self-care. See the "Course Curriculum" section below for a complete outline of the course's learning content.
After completing this course, you will be able to safely use lavender essential oil as a nursing intervention in patient care if you have a facility policy that allows it. If you work in a facility that does not have a policy allowing administration of essential oils, you can use this training to communicate with your supervisor about the safety and efficacy of using lavender essential.
This CE course is part of a larger series (coming soon) that covers many aromatherapy topics. The course scope and intention are to provide a solid guidance from a certified nurse aromatherapist so you can safely administer lavender essential oil in a clinical setting for specific patients.
The course does not train you to be an aromatherapist. The landscape of aromatherapy is broad and requires additional depth of study before practicing as an aromatherapist.
If the information presented in the course inspires you to learn more, you will find recommended resources for further study here. The references provided in this CE course are specific and known to be useful. They were chosen to reflect best practices from the field and link to additional evidence-based practice information.
Learning Outcomes: Using Lavender for Patient Care
Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:
- Use a decision tree to determine if administering lavender essential oil to patients in a clinical setting is in their scope of practice
- Locate research on the clinical use of lavender essential oil
- Identify considerations in a Patient Selection Template
- Recognize and respond to potential adverse reactions to lavender essential oil
- Identify the key principles of safe storage and disposal of lavender essential oil
- Determine quality sources of lavender essential oil for use in the clinical setting
- Safely administer lavender essential oil topically and by inhalation and document that administration in a clinical record
Lavender in Nursing Course Excerpt
"If you go to a store, you will find many products labelled "lavender". For the intention of clinical aromatherapy, the essential oil should not just be labelled “lavender essential oil”. The label should also identify genus and species and country of origin where the plant was grown.
If that information is lacking, in the context of clinical aromatherapy, there is the possibility of purchasing a product that is not guaranteed to be 100% pure or is chemically different than l. angustifolia. The product could have also been extended or adulterated with a laboratory version of the chemical component. Sometimes, that chemical difference may not matter or be apparent. However, in the clinical context, it is to be considered a red flag for using an essential oil where unknown additives might cause an allergic reaction. Growing conditions are also a consideration, since a plant treated with herbicides or pesticides may still contain residue when distilled.
You might also end up purchasing lavender x intermedia, also known as Lavandin, from a grower who distills lavender for higher yield than they can obtain by distilling lavender angustifolia. Since the chemical profile of lavender angustifolia (True Lavender) is different from that of lavender intermedia (Lavandin), you need to be aware that Lavandin has the caution that it can inhibit platelet aggregation."
According to certified clinical aromatherapy practitioners Grace Orosz, RN-BC, CCAP and Barbara Jackson, M.Ed, LPN, CCAP, "Aromatherapy and essential oils are important tools in our toolkit that allow us to shift the energy within ourselves in order to be secure and balanced when we step into the unknown of our working day. We appreciate that essential oils are used along with breath work and therapeutic touch to be, in the words of Gandhi, the change we wish to see in the world."
In their blog article, Barbara and Grace share their reflections and practical tips about the energetics of aromatherapy in nursing practice. Grace and Barbara are two of the three aromatherapy instructors for the nationwide Integrative Healing Arts Program for Holistic Nurses, produced by the American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA). Barbara is the author of this CE course.
Here are a couple of excerpts from the article:
"Going in full COVID PPE to provide patient care, it’s comforting to have the intention of calm and it is strengthening to have calm-producing scents to back it up... having an essential oil in our mask has helped us make it through our day, more able to tolerate the challenges of COVID.
... providing something aromatic for a nurse or CNA who is challenged with tolerating the distinctive smell of c. diff while providing a patient's peri-care helps her maintain her balance in that intimate encounter and shields her patient from the unspoken repulsion."
StartSTART HERE: Video & Worksheet (15:32)
StartWhat Is Aromatherapy?
StartA Brief History of the Use of Lavender Essential Oil
StartUsing a Scope of Practice Decision Tree
StartThe Role of Chemistry
StartLavender Essential Oil Chemistry: Functional Groups Table
PreviewAll Lavender Is Not the Same: Lavender vs. Lavandin
Barbara Jackson, M.Ed, LPN, CCAP is a licensed nurse and an essential oil therapist who has more than 600 hours of aromatherapy classroom study. Barbara has trained with the some of the leading practitioners who have pioneered this work. She has studied under Robert Tisserand and Kurt Schnaubelt; has a certificate in Aromatherapy from Bastyr University; has achieved the credential of Certified Clinical Aromatherapy Practitioner (CCAP) through the innovative Jane Buckle course, and has completed the Madeline Kerkoff-Hayes course Complementary Care in Palliative and End of Life Care.
Barbara works with hospice programs and in skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities where aromatherapy is effective and appropriate. She also creates custom blends using high quality essential oil ingredients to relieve symptoms and provide comfort and relaxation for private clients.
Barbara’s mission and passion is bringing essential oil therapy into the clinical setting as a recognized nursing intervention. She has presented on the safe use of essential oils in the clinical setting at the local, national and international levels.
Additional information can be found at her website alambiqua.com