August 12, 2014

Interning and Aromatherapy; It's Time to Rethink Both

When people think of interns they generally think of some college kid running around getting coffee, taking messages, and doing any of the grunt work their supervisor wants them to do. However, that stereotypical image is nothing what it’s like interning at Beekley Medical. As the marketing intern I actually work of substance; I do research, I sit in on meetings, and I get hands on experience working in the business world. My main focus is on a product called AromaTabs® - aromatherapy tabs for the clinical setting, so I’ve been doing a lot of research on aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is considered a complementary and alternative medicine, a holistic approach to healthcare that focuses on a person’s mind, body, and spirit.

After researching online and looking into Beekley Medical's customer list, I’ve learned a lot about the different areas of healthcare aromatherapy is used for. AromaTabs are used in many healthcare facilities for reasons like helping quell claustrophobia and nausea or helping to reduce anxiety/stress. Aromatherapy really helps patients relax without being sedated and allows them to feel like they’re more in control. By doing a simple Google News search, I was able to find some articles about aromatherapy in healthcare facilities.

I found an article from Oncology Nurse Advisor on how aromatherapy is helping reduce anxiety for patients who are getting breast biopsies. This article talked about a study conducted by the John C. Lincoln Breast Health and Research Center in Phoenix, Arizona. The women were measured for stress levels before and after the procedure and were randomly assigned to inhale or topically apply either lavender or jasmine essential oil. The results stated that when a patient received aromatherapy they had a reduced anxiety level.

The second article I read was from Smallcap Network about an aromatherapy study conducted at the James Cancer Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. This study focused on how essential oil diffusers can help healthcare staff in the oncology department with work-related stress. The idea actually came up because a patient stated how much her diffuser was helping her. At the end of the six week period, the findings showed that aromatherapy allowed for staff members to feel more relaxed due to the decrease in tension, worry, and demands. Though not every aspect the study tested for was proven, the overall results showed that aromatherapy (and other complementary and alternative medicines) could relieve psychological stress.

I found these articles really interesting because it showed that aromatherapy is really an understated practice. Most people are familiar with how scents can be calming (like lighting a candle after a stressful work day), but not that many people, including myself, applied it to a healthcare setting. Aromatherapy can help both patients and healthcare workers, which is important to keeping the environment comfortable and relaxed. Obviously every person will have a different reaction, but both articles showed positive results and gave me some useful information to apply to my project.

Anessa Liljedahl
Marketing Intern

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