Grand Canyon University
October 12, 2014
Healing Hospital: A Daring Paradigm
After this week’s reading this student was given the assignment of writing an essay that describes how hospitals incorporate spirituality into their healing process and discussing the challenges that may arise from such incorporation. Also this student is to choose a bible passage that supports healing in the hospital and provide a rationale for this student’s selection. The final product will be an essay that discusses the challenges of spirituality and healing in the hospital setting as defined by this student.
As most of America follows a western idea in relation to science and individualism this belief is one based on reason (Western culture and its ideals, values, beliefs, and ideas, characteristics and thinkers: Western Civilization, 2009). Most hospitals in America follow a western approach to health and wellness and do not incorporate spirituality into the core standards of care. This is not to say that hospitals do not have a chapel or a person of religion on staff, but simply states that most hospitals do not place religion high on the list of priorities in relation to care of the patients.
There are facilities that are of religious affiliation and follow a standard of care that places religion near the top of the list if not first on the list. These facilities promote healing the spirit as well as the body. The purpose of this practice of religion is for optimal whole body healing thru religious practice and beliefs. Compassion and caring of the person and not the disease takes front stage in the hospital settings that incorporate spirituality. This is not to say that hospitals that do not follow this process do not care for and offer compassion; it is only to say that it is done in a different fashion.
As a new LPN this student was employed with a long term care facility that was of catholic religious practice. A priest and nun were on staff at all times. A large chapel was also on site and utilized daily for the patients and residents of this facility. Prayer blankets and vigilance was given to the patients that were not doing well, and those that were doing well were encouraged to watch over and pray for those that were not doing well. Bible study took place and other denominations of religion were also present on Wednesdays and Sundays for the patients and residents that perhaps were not catholic to practice in religion as well. This facility placed whole body healing first and placed much importance into religion and spirituality to promote healthy people living with diseases. This is the standard of care that this student is accustoming to; any other fashion of care is difficult to follow.
The components of healing that some hospitals are leaning toward are simply treating the whole body which includes mind, body and spirit. Healing takes place when patients are able to rest peacefully, and explore personal traditions to help soothe the soul. Modern western medicine does help the disease but spirituality in any form is what helps the body. Healing hospitals or facilities promote a home environment with less noise, opportunity to rest peacefully, allowing families to be involved in the care, and to reduce stress in the hospital or facility setting so that the patient can feel more at ease and peace, thus promoting healing. By providing all of these accommodations, the patient is able to practice spirituality in any form and that’s how it is all connected (Eberst, 2008).
The barriers and complexities that exist with this concept of healing are endless. Hard work and dedication is needed to ensure that such an environment can be maintained and encouraged. The first barrier is the staff. If staff loses sight of the reason they became a medical professional then compassion is lost. It is often difficult to continue to care for the patients when