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Field Experience: Acupuncture

Field Experience: Acupuncture

Field Experience: Acupuncture

Introduction

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Being a medical practitioner is a responsible task, which includes different professional competencies and personal qualities. After becoming nurses and physicians, former medical students have to remember that they should characterize any medical situation from the perspectives of both an expert and a patient. For some students, understanding these two roles when performing treatment may be difficult. That is why they need to undergo a field experiment that aims at covering the role of a patient. A typical field experiment consists of visiting a representative of a medical profession as a patient, sharing ailments with him or her, getting recommendations, and monitoring one’s health after the treatment. These measures allow a future nurse or physician obtaining the medical view from a perspective of a patient. In particular, during a field experiment, a student may feel certain fears or concerns connected with one’s illness. It is critical to consider this information in the future medical practice in order to enhance the efficacy of treatment interventions. This paper reports about visiting a CAM practitioner specializing in acupuncture. It explains the reasons for choosing this medical field, personal impressions from visiting the physician’s office, his or her professional characteristics and credentials, physical state, performed interventions, and the progress of recovery. The field experiment allows comprehending the core medical competencies of the specialist along with realizing the role of the medical environment, physician-patient communication and treatment.

Preparing for a Visit

Before visiting a CAM practitioner, I had to choose the place and the reasons for a visit with the regard of possible individual health outcomes. Thus, I decided to visit the Acupuncture Healthcare Clinic in Miami, Florida where Dr. Hailin Wu performs acupuncture treatment assisting patients in overcoming various health problems. Before visiting the practitioner, I checked the website of the organization for additional information. The mission statement of the organization is “to provide the very best care for our patients in a compassionate manner, ever mindful of each patient’s dignity and individuality” on the basis of the guidelines of the traditional Chinese medicine (AHCCFL, 2015a). This mission statement is relevant to the occupation of the practitioner. In addition, I had to assure that the physician who was about to treat me was a competent practitioner with the required personal and professional competencies of an acupuncturist. My physician was Dr. Hailin Wu who had all the required credentials. Thus, she has a medical degree from the Chinese and such degrees as the Bachelor of Science in Nutrition, the Master of Science in Oriental Medicine (M.S.O.M), the Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (D.A.O.M.), and the Master of Science (M.S.) from DePaul University in Chicago” (AHCCFL, 2015b). Dr. Wu is a specialist who has over 20 years of clinical experience and medical research practice in prestigious hospitals of China and the US (AHCCFL, 2015b).

Furthermore, it was important to assure that the selected medical practitioner had the skills, knowledge, and experience relevant to my medical condition because I had a sleep disorder – insomnia. Judging from the information presented on the website, Dr. Wu is competent in treating a broad specter of diseases and conditions including “infertility, obesity, cancer, endocrine disorder, cardiovascular disorder, acute pain, aging” and other chronic health conditions (AHCCFL, 2015b). The website had no indicators that the selected practitioner treats sleep disorders, which is why I clarified this issue over the phone and agreed for the proposed procedures. In addition, I performed an investigation for assuring that acupuncture has a positive effect on sleep disorders. I discovered that flying needle therapy performed as a part of a clinical randomized controlled research had a success in treating sleep disorders in 84.1% of cases (Chen et al., 2013). Moreover, the needle therapy assisted by the pharmaceutical treatment, – a method named pharmacopuncture – has proven to be efficient when treating insomnia (Seo et al., 2015). Therefore, I obtained research-based evidence that acupuncture is efficient when treating insomnia and sleep disorders, which were my problems before the initiation of treatment procedures.

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The Initial Visit, Assessment, and Treatment

The initial impression of the office of Acupuncture Health Clinic was positive because of the pleasant interior, communicable and helping staff, and a brief lecture that was aimed at explaining the role of traditional Chinese medicine in the modern Western life. According to Dr. Wu, the clinic has been accredited by the state and local authorities and has legal rights for treating diverse patients. The website reaffirms this information. The interior of the office is decorated with the traditional Chinese pictures and symbols that represent animals and other elements of the Chinese culture. A unique, pleasant and relaxing atmosphere eases psychological tension associated with waiting. In the office, there is a figure of a human body, which the physician uses during a brief lecture. She has explained that a human body has a critical number of vital points which represent organs and organ systems. According to Dr. Wu, the Chinese medicine and acupuncture in particular support the view that by affecting these points in a specific and gentle manner a CAM physician corrects the work of organs and the body’s energy systems.

After a brief lecture, the physician performed an evaluation procedure that consisted of four stages, which were looking, listening, touching, and asking. These elements are critical in the Chinese medicine because they offer different approaches to diagnosing patients (Wu, 2016). For instance, at the stage of looking, the physician performs an observation analysis noting the color of the patient’s skin and the features of the patient’s body, whereas listening is the analysis of the patient’s voice. By assessing these aspects, the Chinese physicians obtain initial information about the patient’s condition. Afterwards, they proceed to touching and asking. Touching involves a number of palpation procedures such as pulse check, abdomen palpation and other activities revealing painful, swollen, sweaty or discolored body areas (Wu, 2016). The stage of asking is the closest one to the practice of the Western medicine It includes a list of ten questions that evaluate various aspects of the patient’s life and current condition. For instance, common questions relate to the patient’s sleeping habits, appetite, the characteristics of the pain, etc. (Wu, 2016).

After performing the two first stages of patient analysis, Dr. Wu stated that I look drained and pale, and I have a quiet voice, which meant that I was extremely tired. The physician also added that that my level of tiredness was impossible to achieve with the routine work, which is why I had some problems with sleep. In addition, I demonstrated discomfort when undergoing the procedure of palpation, which indicated the presence of irritation and nervous tension. After that, I shared the concerns about my health condition stating that I was having problems with sleep for a period of over a month. Typical syndromes of my sleep disorder include nightmares, waking up at midnight and failing to fall asleep again, and reoccurring insomnia. I mentioned that I associated those symptoms with family problems that made me emotionally unstable and nervous. Dr. Wu assured me that she had met a lot of patients with such health complaints and conditions, and that she would help me.

My treatment consisted of the two phases, which included acupuncture and pharmacy administration. The predominant acupunctural procedure was a flying needle therapy, which had to reoccur every day for a period of two weeks. The administered pharmacy is a traditional Chinese sedative based on the herbal extracts of valerian and other plants. I had to take it two times a day, after dinner and an hour before sleep. According to different studies, valerian is associated with the improvement of sleep quality and the latency assisting in treating insomnia (Cunnington, Junge, & Fernando, 2013), which is why I agreed to its administration. During the flying needle therapy, I was lying on the couch whereas the practitioner inserted small and thin needles into various areas of my body. The major part of these needles were placed on my back, bus some other locations included hands, arms, legs, and even ears. The needles rested inserted for a couple of minutes after which the practitioner performed a gentle and brief massage to make the blood circulate more actively. Before inserting the needles, Dr. Wu also performed a short warm-up massage to fill the required body areas with blood. To my surprise, the procedure was not painful, as after the insertions, I was about to fall asleep with the needles in my body. The physician characterized this phenomenon as a relaxation effect achieved by the correction of the energy within the body, which released my psychic tension.

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I was pleased by the visit to the Acupuncture Health Clinic and the interventions as well as the assistance of Dr. Wu. To my mind, her actions and knowledge have proven that she is a skillful specialist and a competent CAM practitioner. After the first visit, the symptoms of my sleep disorder became weaker and I was sleeping for half a night, which was a surprising progress in my treatment. Additionally, I was feeling more relaxed and less tensed during the day when performing different actions. I continue taking the herbal prescriptions and visiting Dr. Wu because I feel that the acupuncture and the assigned medicine assist me in combating my sleep disorder and insomnia. I am thankful to Dr. Wu as a patient and I respect her as a colleague because she has demonstrated a profound competency in her academic domain, outstanding personal qualities, compassion, and willingness to help. I will follow the example of Dr. Wu when dealing with my future patients. Moreover, I recognize that the Chinese traditions of medical assessment and treatment have strong cultural roots and are efficient when performed by a competent physician. Therefore, I plan to continue visiting acupuncture procedures and advise doing it to those individuals who have sleep disorders, insomnia, and problems with the nervous system. Moreover, I am going to implement some of the medical approaches practiced by Dr. Wu in my future career of the health care specialist.

Conclusion

Summarizing the presented information, the paper comes to a conclusion that a field experiment is an important part of the preparation of a health care practice because it broadens one’s professional and personal worldviews. Thus, my visit of a CAM practitioner Dr. Wu at the Acupuncture Healthcare Clinic in Miami, Florida enhanced my vision of the physician’s career by being a patient. I became aware of the role of the traditional Chinese medicine in the Western culture and its methods of patient assessment and acupuncture treatment. In addition, I experienced the efficacy of the performed interventions in combating my sleep disorders and insomnia, which improved the quality of my life. As a result, this experience has been vital for my future practice and I plan to apply some of the principles of the abovementioned patient assessment and treatment methods. I expect that my patients and I will benefit from this knowledge when I put it into practice.

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