Given the fact that technological onrush has dramatically changed the focus of modern day health care practices, the significance of spiritual foundations still remains inviolate. The palpable transition from a caring and service oriented treatment to a more technology-bent practice has taken place but the need for spiritual foundations in healing and health care cannot be downplayed.
Spiritual foundations in health care may well be defined as means to respond to all the psychical, emotional, social and spiritual aspects of the ailing patient. Spiritual care helps patients cope with the feeling of hopelessness, meaninglessness, isolation and fear of death. Health care is the most humanized industry or say it should be. Doctors, nurses and other caregivers have the most intimate relationship with their patients as they help them recover spiritually, physically, and mentally.
The presence of potent spiritual edifice is an integral part of health care and healing hospital. Nursing and medicine have their roots of origin in religion and spirituality. Nurses have been called angels of mercy and many health care providers believe their work is a calling with unique requirements, responsibilities and distinct moral duties. (Koopsen and Young, 2009). Healing is more than merely a professional exercise as it requires doctors, nurses and caregivers to stand by their patients and share their pain with compassion and empathy. The patient’s worries about his disease, family, business, friends, and qualms about God can only be addressed through spiritual care. In cases where cure becomes impossible, healing can still be experienced by coming to terms with disease and one’s own life.
Components of Healing Hospital
There are a couple of components that contribute to the overall make-up of healing. At the heart of it is spiritual component. Undoubtedly, healing has much more to do with the spiritual aspects of life though it cannot be described in empirical terms. The spiritual bond between the patient and caregiver is always a sign of caring relationship---essential for the healing hospital. Such a bond should elicit the feeling of compassion and connection. In other words, it is basically the sense of being a part of something more important than anything else. Most of all, spirituality motivates caregivers to empathize with the clients who have quite different personalities.
The psychical component of the healing hospital involves all the procedures and technical skills necessary to keep caregiver’s relationship cordial with the patient. Equally important is the psychological component. The caregiver should respond well to the needs of the patients and treat him/her on purely humanitarian basis. To be positive, nonjudgmental, accepting, empathetic, and authentic are all the traits essential to the psychological relationship. A sound psychical and psychological relationship with patient naturally strengthens the spiritual foundations in health care and healing hospital.
The most critical component of a healing hospital is embracing a culture of Radical Loving Care, a philosophy championed by healthcare industry leader Erie Chapman. By embracing this philosophy, Mercy Gilbert Medical Center has infused a strong culture of compassionate care, taking healthcare workers back to their roots and reminding them why they went into healthcare. It promotes the healing of patients through a holistic approach that meets not only patient’s physical needs, but their emotional and spiritual needs as well. (Fisch and Allen 2006)
The challenges of healthcare
The environment of the hospital and its design has always much to do with the health of the individual, community and earth and may pose a challenge to the treatment of patient. The design team of a hospital should create a healing environment that eases burden for building healthcare, reduce negative ecological impact and improves safety. The flow of people, equipment, air, materials, and sounds associated with ordinary everyday health operations must be chalked out and understood clearly.
Green practices should be carried out effectively to manage energy bills, reduce waste in order to have healthier indoor air. The complexities may arise out of hospital operations. The need for strict cleaning procedures and frequent air changes should be accentuated to keep hospital operations sophisticated and clean. Since hospitals are the largest consumers of medicines and medical equipment such as disposables including gloves, syringes, swabs, blood bags, intravenous tubes, and swell the waste management should be done effectively.
People should not only be provided with information (the informed consumer of health care services is not yet as informed as he or she needs to be) but also helped in developing the skills which allow them to make good use of information. There is a need for critical consciousness-raising and inculcates the sense among people so that they can appreciate the fact that doctors are experts in ill health and not consultants in good health. The benefits of medical interventions are limited to those who need them, and are likely to turn into disadvantages for those who do not.
“The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.” (Psalm 145:8) These magical lines can do wonder for the ailing patient. The realization that God is good for all with His innumerable mercies bestowed upon man can heal one faster. It will foster spiritual foundations of healing.
Observe the words Almighty said in every one of these Scripture verses. Every time God decides to heal someone, He is showing incredible mercy towards that person. This verse tells us that God is not only merciful but abundant and great in mercy as well. From the abovementioned verse, we can deduce that God is more like a perfect loving father. When someone is afflicted with illness or disease he or she can consult God for divine and spiritual healing at any moment in time.
It is a good thing to place our lives in God's hands (His power). He has made us in His likeness, so we can never flee from His presence or fall from His care. In our lives from day to day, He will hold us close, hold us up, bless us, heal us, and show us the way. We are safe and whole only in God's hands. This
Keep me as the apple
of the eye, hide me under
the shadow of thy wings,
from the wicked that oppress
me, from my deadly enemies,
who compass me about.(Psalms 17:8, 9)
All in all, the tendency to listen to patient’s concerns, fears, and hopes on caregiver’s part is extremely useful in quick recovery from disease. Spiritual care does not mean treating a suffering individual but serving a human being in every respect.
Young, Caroline Koopsen, Cyndie (2009) Spirituality: Health and healing Jones and Bartlett Learning
Waaijman, Kees (2002) Spirituality: forms foundations and methods Peeters Publishers
Fisch J. Michael Burton W. Allen (2006) Cancer Pain Management Mc-Graw Hill Professional