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Healing Hospitals and Spirituality, Research Paper Example

Pages: 2

Words: 602

Research Paper

Spirituality has been known as a positive influencer of mental and physical health. According to Culliford (2005, p. 1) states that “spiritual beliefs and practices… help prevent many physical and mental illnesses, reducing both symptom severity and relapse rate, speeding up and enhancing recovery, as well as rendering distress and disability easier to endure”. The below paper will review several theories of healing in a hospital using a holistic spiritual approach.

Puchalski (2001) examined the role of spirituality in health care facilities and found that compassionate care is one of the main characteristics of spiritual hospitals that improve patient outcomes and satisfaction. The author, just like Culliford (2005) states that spirituality should not be restricted by rules and norms of one religion. Compassionate care, according to Puchalski (2001, p. 352) “calls physicians to walk with people in the midst of their pain, to be partners with patients rather than experts dictating information to them”. This idea is extremely relevant to the current study. The six main aspects of spiritual care defined by the author are: compassionate presence, listening to patients’ hopes, fears, and dreams, understanding individuals’ spiritual history, attentiveness to mind, body, and spirit, incorporation of spirituality in daily care, and establishing a chaplain system within the healing facility.

There are also some challenges associated with creating a healing environment in a hospital. Puchalski & McSkimming (2006, p. 34) mentions the lack of hospital staff’s ability to differentiate between spiritual care and “customer service”. Many health care professionals believe that looking after the patient’s social needs is enough. Further, finding time for staff education, and spiritual activities was another challenge. The healing environment is described by  Puchalski & McSkimming (2006) as a setting where the patient and caregiver are in the center, and their care is influenced by the standards of the organization, the policies of the interdisciplinary team, and the spiritual history of the patient and family. Cultural and religious respect was found to be one of the most important success factors when implementing spirituality in healing environments. Culliford (2005) states that training issues and boundary problems can reduce the effectiveness of a spiritual healing approach. The author suggests that healing staff focuses on reinforcing spiritual values, instead of focusing on social, religious, or cultural norms. These values are described as honesty, courage, patience, compassion in care, hope, love, and kindness (Culliford, 2005, p. 6).

Respect and serving others is described several places in the Holy Bible. Being without judgment and accommodating others’ spiritual needs is important, and it is expressed in the letter written to the Corinthians: “And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.” The gift of healing is given to all Christians, and all people can receive this gift.

The main takeaway from the above research is that health care professionals need to find time for training and focus on universal spiritual values, instead of forcing religion on patients. Respects is the key to connecting to the mind, body, and spirit of those who suffer from an illness or are recovering from and injury. As Puchalski (2001, p. 357) puts it: “Physicians need to address and be attentive to all suffering of their patients—physical, emotional, and spiritual. Doing so is part of delivery of compassionate care”.

References

Culliford, L. (2005) Healing from within: Spirituality and mental health. Retrieved from http://www.miepvideos.org/Healing%20From%20within.pdf

Puchalski, C. M. (2001). The role of spirituality in health care. Proceedings (Baylor University. Medical Center), 14(4), 352–357.

Puchalski, C. M. & McSkimming, S. (2006) Creating healing environments. Health Progress. May-June 2006. 30-35

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