Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Nursing (MAN)




SC 11.MAN.2014.Haack.KM


Postoperative nausea has been identified as one of the most common complications experienced by patients following surgery. The experience of nausea may negatively impact the recovery process resulting in decreased patient satisfaction. Clinical aromatherapy, using inhaled essential oils, is recognized as an effective treatment for postoperative nausea but requires appropriate education of nursing staff in order to ensure safe and effective use. Katharine Kolcaba,s Theory of Comfort provides a framework for utilization of aromatherapy demonstrating the specific comforting actions of nurses. A clinical aromatherapy workgroup was formed in orderto obtain approval for an aromatherapy pilot, finalize the aromatherapy procedural guideline, identify pilot units for implementation, and develop the education module for nursing staff. An education module was developed to ensure the safe and effective use of aromatherapy for postoperative nausea. The education module includes information on preparation, storage, and disposal of essential oils, as well as video demonstration of inhalation aromatherapy and a description of necessary components for documentation within the medical record. A subsequent test of knowledge will be required of nursing staff and includes questions specifically addressing the safety and efficacy of aromatherapy using essential oils. The implementation of an education module for the safe and effective use of aromatherapy demonstrates a commitment to incorporating complementary and alternative treatment modalities into daily nursing practice and a high level of professional accountability within nursing.