I am about to enter into a nursing program and so have been taking an introductory course on it.  For this course we had to attend presentations made by senior nursing majors that were essentially designs for research projects based on peer-reviewed articles but not actually carrying the research out in the real world.  This is the senior project and it places an emphasis on "evidence-based practice," which has been important in elevating nursing as a profession.

While looking at these presentations, I decided to go over to the one that talked about Therapeutic Touch (TT).  I thought at first that it was talking about the effects of a hands on approach to nursing that was examining the effects of touch on patients.

Nope.  It was actually about TT as a way to manipulate some sort of energy field that somehow extends beyond the human body yet isn't one of the fundamental physical forces or anything else that is recognized by science.  I held my tongue since his evaluator was listening at the time and the presenter noted that the evaluator knew all about it.  I was staring at them because it was so odd to see an open display of belief in something with, as far as I know, no evidence to support it (apart from religion).

I remember watching an episode of Penn & Teller Bullshit that dealt with new age medicine and such.  In the episode, they have a girl on who has/had the Guiness world record as the youngest person to have research published in a medical journal.  At age 9 she showed that 21 practitioners of TT did worse than chance at being able to blindly guess whether her hand was over their right or left hand.  They only guessed correctly 4.1/10 times on average.  That happened in '98.  Yet studies continue to be done on the effects of TT while still making the claim that practitioners can sense a universal human energy field or something and then make a patient better by manipulating it.

This seems like a horribly unscientific thing to do for a profession that is trying to back up its practices with evidence-based research.  It's false and gives patients false hope.  If the benefit of it is the placebo effect, then it should be taught in such a way that practitioners know this and understand how to use it without teaching a lie to a patient.  However, it appears that proponents of it are still making miracle claims.

So I suppose I'm nervous that I'm going to have to fight against bullshit like this while learning and while practicing.  I want to be able to call "bullshit" when I see something like this, but I think that it would ruffle to many feathers.

Does anyone here work in nursing (or medicine) and see anything like this?  What are your thoughts on TT or other "alternative" or "new age" "medicines"?  Have you ever dealt with nurses or doctors who insist on wasting your time with these things?

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Lee, babe... the only person who scares me is Samara, and she's not even real. I think that means I'm invincible.

Oooooooo - did you hear what she called you, Unseen? I've called you a lot of things, but a troll was never one of them - I like trolls, they're warm and cuddly. You, not so much --

Where do you find this stuff??? I need to go where you do.

Strega can find ANYthing on any subject, and trust me, you don't want to go where she goes --

She once found a pic of Sherlock Holmes, using his magnifying glass to examine the word, "Poop," written on a wall - I don't even want to know where she went to find that.

You DO know, I would hope, that "Strega" means "witch" - she's a good friend of mine, but even I know better than to ask too many questions - some things, you just don't want to know --

@Strega - Preen at will --

(Private joke!)

LOL HOLY SHIT! This is outta CONTROL! I was fine to let it drop, cuz it's not like I actually know any of you anyway. Let's bring some perspective into this ish.

First of all, Stephy, if you don't know us, do - it could be fun.

Secondly, Unseen and I go at it like this all the time, this topic and/or your comment has little or nothing to do with it - I could tell you stories, but I'll spare your tender ears.

It's all in fun, nobody gets too serious here. Just relax and enjoy the show - you won't find anything like THIS on CNN!

Oh it's all good lol. And no offense meant by the whole "I don't even know you people" :P. I'm just saying I tend to be on TA for about a week and not come check up again until three months later, so it's hard to keep track of everybody.

Yup. That's pretty much how we say howdy around here!

Welcome to the community!

RE: "it's hard to keep track of everybody" - but just like the Light always resists the Dark Force, the Un-one and I are locked in an eternal struggle - come back in three months, and we'll still be here for your entertainment pleasure, several shows per day, seven days per week. It's what we do.

"several shows per day, seven days per week. It's what we do."

And there's no cover...ya does have to bring your own bottle tho. :D

That was a little over the top, wasn't it --?

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