Karen Eynon RN.MSN.
Grand Canyon University: Insert Course Title
Health care professionals including nurses, doctors, and clinical officers among others come into contact with patients of various faiths on a daily basis. As such, health providers have an obligation of understanding each of these faiths to provide healthcare to all their patients (Ammerman, 2005). However, since it is practically impossible for a given healthcare provider to master everything about every religion around the world, they must always ask their patients directly about their faith and what role it may play in their healing. There are various faiths around the world that holds different views regarding healthcare and healing (Timmins, 2012). The two most leading faiths in the world are the Christianity and Islam. This paper limits itself to discussing how nurses affiliated to Christian religion may incorporate beliefs of patients from three diverse faiths in order to facilitate their healing. The three faiths are Buddhism, Sikh, and Baha’i.
Ammerman, 2005 postulates that the Sikh religion is attributed to Guru Nanak who is believed to be its founder. This is a religion that has followers in various parts of the world though smaller than that of the two established faiths, which are Christianity and Islam. Baha’i is a faith that emphasizes on the unity of all individuals. It has its origin in Persia from where it has managed to penetrate into various places around the world. Buddhism is a religion that emphasizes on the idea of oneself. It is a religion that has been existence for several centuries.
Different Spiritual Perspectives on Healing In Buddhism, Sikh, and Baha’i Religions
Buddhism, Sikh, and Baha’i religions have different spiritual perspectives on healing, which are different from the Christian perspective all together. Buddhism places a lot of emphasis on ‘mindfulness’, where patients tend to request peace for the task of meditation, especially at the time of a crisis (Timmins, 2012). Patients tend to pray or chant out loudly. Some patients use a string of beads during prayer. Parents and relatives of the patient may place the picture of the Buddha especially if the patient is placed in a private ward. Relatives of the patients may request to burn candles or incense to help in the recovery process of the patient. According to Timmins (2012), the Buddhist concept regarding healing is known as kimmic, which incorporates the concepts of diseases, health, and healing as the fulcrum of spiritual involvement. They believe that these concepts can help a patient to develop inner peace, calmness, and joy which are instrumental in the healing process. In medicine, the utilization of meditative techniques comes into play along with the normal medical treatment.
According to Timmins (2012), Buddhism is of the idea that individuals have the ability to control their own destinies by embracing a positive and the right mentality. People have to control the state of their bodies and minds. This faith supports the idea of taking patients to hospitals to seek medical advice to enhance their healing while maintaining the right mentality. The Bahia’s perspective of healing is dualistic in nature in the sense that medical practitioners praise God when serving the sick since He is the giver and restorer of life. They therefore applaud medicine from that perspective. Belief in divine healing is the second aspect of Buddhism religion, which is aligned with formalized healing prayers. They tend to hold that there is a correlation between spiritual and emotion condition and physical health (Ammerman, 2005).
Those who believe in Sikh as their faith holds that God is the creator and giver of life. People who practice this faith normally pray for the sick to get well soon. The Sikh believes that God can see them through their sickness and hence they always encourage the reading of Holy Scriptures (Timmins, 2012). Many patients consider sickness to be the will of God, and also holds that God is merciful hence the need for prayers. This faith encourages the sick to seek medical assistance from health providers to enhance their recovery.
Proving Care for Patients from Religions Different From Your Own
The most crucial thing for patients when taken care of by a practitioner from a different faith is the idea of trying to understand and appreciate their beliefs and practices. Nurses and other medical practitioners have the responsibility of understanding and appreciating patients’ faith diversity to accord them the required healthcare. The health care providers should allow the patients and their families to carry out their religious beliefs provided they do not indulge with the professional mechanisms of dispensing medication. All the three faiths discussed above have their own perceptions regarding healing though they .have a common phenomenon, which emphasizes on the importance of the medical facilities and practices.
Hollins, (2009) points out that all healthcare providers should allow families of patients to carry out their religious practices to boost the chances of patient’s recovery. Issues like prayers, lighting of candles, and listening to some remarkable music should be allowed if the patients are in special wards to prevent the prospect of interfering with other patients who subscribe to other faiths. Patients from the three discussed faiths believe in spiritual healing more than the medical activities facilitated by the healthcare providers (Timmins, 2012). They always want these practitioners to allow their families to perform all the necessary religious doctrines that facilitate their healing. Healing is a process that has a psychological attachment and once the patients start embracing the teachings of their faiths, there is a high likelihood of them being healed (Hollins, 2009). Christian philosophy of faith and healing requires patients to believe in God as the giver of life and trust Him to heal them.
There is no significant difference between Christian, Sikh, and Baha’i’ perspectives of healings since all of them believe that there is God who is responsible for their survival. Buddhism is a bit different in the sense that it emphasizes on personal responsibility to enhance healing. This faith holds that people have to embrace the right reasoning that is responsible to helping them to heal sustain their health status. It asserts that people should stay positive in their reasoning to boost their chances of healing whenever they are sick. All these three faiths embrace the idea of using medical techniques to effect healing to patients who might be suffering from various ailments (Timmins, 2012).
Applying research to health care practise
This research has helped to assert the facts that the composition of various geographical settings is changing with a view to constant globalization witnessed in the world today. People are freely moving to new places due to various social, economic, and political reasons, and as a result, there should be all round healthcare providers to address their health concerns. This scenario means that people of different faiths are scattered all over the place and should be treated in the health centres with much attention being laid on their faith. Medical practitioners must now how to bring healing to people from different faiths. These individuals should take much time to study and research on the practices and beliefs regarding healing and faith from the various faith groups.
As hypothesized by Hollins (2009), the government should enhance the development of cultural and religious competency in healthcare. Those individuals graduating from medical schools should have been taught on how to deal with people from different cultures and religious backgrounds apart from theirs to enable them to serve patients properly. Cultural and religious competence shall enhance a set of policies, behaviours, practices, and attitudes that enable individuals to work effectively in the health sector, which receives patients from all walks of life both in terms of religion and cultural practices (Hollins, 2009).
Ammerman, N. T. (2005). Pillars of Faith: American Congregations and Their Partners. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Hollins, S. (2009). Religions, Culture, and Healthcare: A Practical Handbook for Use in Healthcare Environments. Oxford: Radcliffe Publishing.
Timmins, S. (2012). My Health, My Faith, My Culture: A Guide for Healthcare Practitioners. Keswick: M & K Update Ltd.