Spirituality in Health Care The Healing Hospital paradigm is a concept that aims to treat patients holistically. Using the hospital environment it’s self as the healing vessel. The focus is to relieve stressors that may impend healing by creating a milieu atmosphere. The healing hospital as discussed in Radical Loving Care is not made of just walls, windows and mortar but exudes the culture of love and caring (Chapman, 2011). Healing hospitals use love as its fundamental base in the treatment of all patients.
The design of hospital is also involved. Beauty in the patents space, room transition threw the spectrum of care as the healing process takes place. This includes family centered care and, opportunities for religious practices are encouraged. Traditional western medicine hospitals diagnose, and treat ailments but are not focused on what the human needs are for healing. Stress responses in the body are necessary for fight or flight situations, they are meant to protect. If they continue chronically, the body will not be focused on healing.
Stress alters immune system responses and suppresses the digestive system, the reproductive system and growth processes (http://www. mayoclinic. com/health/stress/SR00001). Once the perceived threat has passed, the body can go back to homeostasis. Patients in the hospital have perceived threats, of death, painful treatments loss of autonomy, and much more. Challenges in creating a healing environment in the hospitals is the foreignness of what makes up the environment, machines, tools, hanging medications, tubes, and wires. Patient being put on NPO diets, lab techs drawing blood in the middle of the night.
Bed alarms go off when patients just want to walk to the bathroom. The beds are not what they are used to, Sequential Compression Devises (SCD) are inflating deflating all night. The day starts at seven with bedside report whether that is normal for the patient or not. Patients that don’t like TV don’t have very many other entertainment options. Conciseness to the patients’ perception is needed to make a healing environment. Caregivers need to approach patients as they themselves would want in the hospital, comfort, soothing treatment, love, intimacy, faith, and healing.
In a healing hospital empathy and loving care is the process for preventing stressors from deteriorating patients’ health. The process of addressing the emotional needs of the patient by active listening to the patients needs, encouraging expression of needs, finding healthy solutions, and implementing the solutions with loving care. This process of empathy and loving care can nurture the nurse as well as the patient. In the traditional western medicine hospital, nurses tend to be emotionally removed to protect themselves from emotional involvement in patients’ health process.
The healing hospital is trying to engage the caregiver in the healing process with the patient. The healing hospital is encouraging a loving approach between nurse and patient to enrich the healing process for both the sick and the caregiver. “All hospital mission statements call for caring, and yet caring attitude is remarkably infrequent in most hospitals” (Chapman, 2011). It is the goal of a healing hospital to change this culture, to a loving, caring environment, by integrating the physical environment as a nurturing place where families feel encouraged to participate in the healing process.
The greatest example of healing with loving care is given in “A new command I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples, If you have loved one another” John 13:34-35 (New King James Version). Jesus gave us a reason to give loving care and encourage healing with sacred encounters between caregiver and needy sick individuals. During the time Jesus was teaching and healing the sick, his approach was always of empathy for the sick, laying hands on the sick and loving even the unlovable. This is the standard for the healing hospital to follow.
In a busy modern, traditional hospital, nurses can be focused on timely delivery of medications, executing tasks with precision, and following protocols, forgetting to deliver loving care to the sick patient, which is the reason for the busy work. Using the greatest example of loving care by Jesus, today’s nurse needs to refocus to loving care by using the healing hospital components in the delivery of care in all busy environments. This is easier said than done. It is possible to provide expert tasks, follow protocols, deliver medications on time and give loving care attention to the sick patient.
Walking into a patients’ room using the healing hospital approach, ask the patient to express needs, wants, and complaints, while using active listening, with eye contact to show concern, and finding solutions to each need and concern. While giving medication or doing a task, observe the physical environment of the patients’ room, thereby solving a need before it is even asked, this is part of the healing hospital focus. The nurse and the patient will feel the effects of healing hospital using this loving care approach, solving concerns, and perceiving needs before being asked to fulfill a need.
A nurse will feel job satisfaction and a patient will heal knowing loving care has been provided. Nurturing the sick patient with loving care is emotionally healing for the nurse providing the loving care. The nurse working in a healing hospital giving loving care, the sick patient receiving loving care and the family around the patient, all benefit spiritually by experiencing a loving care healing hospital experience. That is the reason for having a healing hospital environment not just a traditional western medicine experience. The environment and implementation of a healing hospital is a new concept with old ideals.
Healthcare, nursing, and sick patients’ are ready for such a concept to be a part of the healing process. Blending loving care with the sick is time for loving one another like we were instructed to do by Jesus years ago, because it works for healing the sick and nurturing the caregivers. Sharing the love for one another is not a new idea, but it is a good idea and it works. References Chapman, E. (2003). Radical loving care Building the healing hospital in America. Nashville, Tennessee 37203: Baptist Healing Hospital Trust. Ellis, H. K. , & Narayanasamy, A. 2009). An investigation into the role of spirituality in nursing. British Journal of Nursing, 18, 886-890. Miner-Williams, D. (2005). Making sense of spirituality Putting a puzzle together making spirituality meaningful for nursing using an evolving theoretical framework. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 15, 811-821. Retrieved from doi:10. 1111/j. 1365-2702. 2006. 01351. x O’Brien, M. E. (2011). Spirituality in nursing Standing on holy ground (4th ed. ). Sudbury, MA 01776: Jones & Bartlett Learning. http://www. mayoclinic. com/health/stress/SR00001
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