Thursday, June 04, 2009

A Health Coach?

As I contemplate ways to make money and do good in the world without reporting to an office every day, I've been scanning my list of skills and credentials and coming up with some ideas.

Reviewing my vocational history, I am a Bachelor's educated Registered Nurse with 14 years of experience of case management, hospice, ambulatory nursing, home care, community health, and public health. I have skills as a writer, blogger and editor, and have been published in several books.

Beyond nursing, I am a Certified Kripalu Yoga Instructor, a Certified Practitioner of Swedish Massage, a Level I Reiki Practitioner, and a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader.

With some expertise in the areas of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, case management, and chronic illness management, I find that people often ask me for advice, be it medical, nursing, or simply about life in general.

So, I frequently wonder about the possibility of "hanging a shingle" as a coach, perhaps as a professional health and wellness coach. While the idea is still germinating, I'm working with a health coach myself, experiencing the benefits of such a relationship, and realizing that I have the skills to do it.

Interestingly, a friend called tonight and asked me for urgent medical advice. While I don't picture myself soliciting business for a personal "ask-a-nurse" hotline, I can see that my nursing can indeed be parlayed into a relationship wherein an individual in need of guidance and advice might benefit from the holistic intervention of a coach with a nurse's education.

Speaking of nurses, I have also considered running workshops for nurses on burnout prevention, and perhaps there's a new niche market in being a health coach specifically for nurses and health care providers. After all, we caregivers can be horrendous at taking care of ourselves, so there may indeed be very specific ways that someone like me can help nurses and others figure out how to make the most of their lives, care for themselves well, and optimize their health and wellness.

The wheels are turning, and we shall see how they continue to turn.
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