Treating Patients and COVID-19
Posted On: February 15, 2023
Although the World Health Organization continues to consider COVID-19 a global public health emergency, we are all slowly adapting to the new reality of COVID-19 as a continuing, yet uncertain, health issue. Expanded diagnostic capabilities and increased immunities that reduce the morbidity and virulence of COVID-19 have led to a change in the way NDs can provide naturopathic care.
Considering these changes, the College is providing Registrants with new guidance on the role of Naturopathic Doctors when addressing patients who may have or have had COVID-19 and asking about receiving naturopathic care.
As an ND, you can feel confident providing your patients with the following information:
- We can and continue to provide support to the immune system of our patients. This is especially important during the winter months, similar to what we have done for patients with colds and flus over the years.
- We can support the body as it fights off the infection from a minor case of COVID-19.
- We can support the post-COVID-19 recovery process for serious cases of COVID-19 that have been treated medically.
- We can provide support for those who are experiencing ongoing symptoms and may be COVID-19 long-haulers.
While we can and should provide these naturopathic services to patients, it is still important that when an individual starts to experience symptoms of COVID-19, they consider seeing a medical doctor or nurse practitioner for medical intervention that has been shown to lessen the severity of the disease and reduce the risk of hospitalization. This is especially true for vulnerable populations. Serious cases of COVID-19 will require medical interventions that naturopaths cannot provide; however, we can often assist in and provide support to the body during and after COVID-19.
We need to keep in mind that Registrants cannot make claims or guarantees of curing or preventing COVID-19. Whenever a patient requires health care that is outside of the scope of practice for the profession or outside of the knowledge and skills of the individual naturopath, they must refer the patient to a health care professional who can provide the care they need. Since the COVID-19 vaccine is not authorized to the profession, it is considered to be outside of the scope of practice of the profession and any patients with questions should be referred to the local public health unit, their physician or a nurse practitioner.