Health care Provider and Faith Diversity
As America is rich in multi cultural immigrants’ diversities in culture, beliefs, faiths and religion are not uncommon among American population. Health care profession is one of the major areas that are affected with these diversities of culture, beliefs, faiths and religion. While there are many advantages of rich and diverse heritage, it’s challenging for health care professionals to deal with those from various faith/ spiritual background, especially for minority religious groups. However, in order to provide best available care health care professionals are obligated to incorporate their patient’s faith and belief system in to the modern medicine. This paper explains how people from some of the minority groups view their health from their spiritual perspective as well as their incorporation of spiritual practices while they receive health care during hospitalization. Introduction
Health care profession is one of the professions that come in to contact with many faith diversities on a daily basis. As a health care professional, it’s vital to understand the basic component of each faith in order to provide the best possible care to all of the patients. However, it’s impossible to be knowledgeable about every religion presented to healthcare workers. In order to provide optimal care, it’s very important to assess our patient’s religious faith and its role in their health care. The author of this paper presents with a comprehensive review of the three religions known as Sikh, Buddhism and Shintoism as well as it’s relationship with the Christian perspective on health and healing. Throughout the research of these three faiths, it’s hoped that the author as a caregiver will be able to provide more specific and comprehensive care to her patients present with the above
stated faiths (“Faith diversity,” 2012). Healing Perspective
Because there is an increased population of various religions in America nowadays, those associated with hospitals such as nurses, physicians and chaplains will encounter more frequently patients with various faith/ belief system. Therefore, the assessment of spiritual perspective on healing of various religions is vital in order to achieve best quality of healthy outcome of those who are ill. Throughout this paragraph and following paragraphs, the author presents the spiritual perspective on healing of Sikhism, Buddhism and Shintoism. Although Sikhism doesn’t have any connection with Christianity, they follow almost same as Christians’ belief during their illness or sick times. They view prayer as an important part of their daily routine and it’s the best solution for healing from sick and illness. Sikh patients view illness as the will of their God and he is merciful and benevolent. They pray during the time of sickness/diseases to their god known as Waheguru and as a result, will receive peace and forgiveness (“Sikh patient’s protocol,” 2001). According to Buddhist perspective on healing, their mind, body and actions (Karmma) plays an important role in their illness and sick. Buddhist believes that the mind is the creator of all sickness, health and any other human problems. Because of the Buddhist’s perspective of mind relation to illness/sick, they believe that the sick cause internally, not externally. According to them, if a person has clean/clear mind, he/she less likely to get sick than the one with cloudy mind. They believe that all our negative, positive and neutral actions lay down imprints in our mind that have potential to ripen sometimes later. These karmic seeds never lost according to Buddhist belief and negative previous actions can turn out anytime to problems or sickness while positive actions turns out to the happiness, health or success. As a result, in order to heal present sickness people have to engage in positive actions; need to purify or clear negative imprints from their mind stream; and have to keep mind as clear not cloudy (Hawter, 1995) Shintoism is a religion that places a lot belief in nature and spirit. They view mountains, springs, waterfalls, trees and son as sacred. Shintoism views sickness as a result of dark negative energy and in order to be healed the dark negative energy should be released. According to the Shinto’s perspectives all things are
born from the unity of nature and humans are features of nature which depends upon spirits as well as human ancestors. They believe healing can occur through worshiping of Kami which can be translated as gods, natural spirits or spiritual presence (Willburn, 2007). Healing Components
As a health care professional, it’s vital to know about the critical component of healing of various religions; for example such as Sikhism, Buddhism and Shintoism. Knowledge of critical components of various religions will facilitate to the best healthy outcome during or after hospital stay of patients. Like Christianity, Sikhism views prayer and faith as the main components of healing. Therefore, their main components of healing are a quiet prayer room that has carpet placed; playing of keertan at their bedside; listening to their sacred hymns known as Garbani and read Holy Scripture Guru Granth Sahib that provides physical and spiritual strength as well as nourishment. Sikh patients usually keep a prayer book with them that covered with a piece of cloth and keep in a clean place usually above the head. As part of their religious belief, this prayer book should be touched by only a washed and clean hand. They also enjoy visitation of local Gurudwara leader (similar to clergy or priest). It’s very important to be sensitive to their spiritual needs as well as their significance five K’s (forms of religious symbols or articles of faith) which they choose to wear all the times during their hospitalization. The five K’s are Kesh (long uncut hair), Kanga (wooden comb), a steel bracelet known as Kara, their underwear known as kachhehra and their cermoneal sword called as kirpenn. Health care professionals should inform the Sikh patient and their families the importance of to remove their five K’s during hospitalization or prior to any procedure and should hand it to their family or kept in safe with personal belongings (“Sikh patient’s protocol,” 2001).
Unlikely, Buddhism and Shintoism view their critical components of healing from different perspective than Christianity. According to Buddhist, their healing takes place by use of blessed pills, blessed water and herbal medicine that prepared with extensive prayers and mantras by their spiritual leader known as Rimpoche. As part of the healing Buddhists also use a method called visualization. For example, visualization of a ball of white light
above oneself who is ill, which directs the image of white lights spreading through one’s body will dissolve away all sickness and problems. Some other components of healing in Buddhism includes use of Buddha figures in imagination while perform visualization; meditation by breath in and breath out; and being compassionate that calm mind into peaceful, joyful and stress free mental environment (Hawter, 1995).
Shintoism does not reflect any healing components of Christianity. They view nature and spirits as sacred. They have more traditional aspects rather than spiritual or religious. During hospitalization, it’s common for Shinto patients to ask for assortment of plants or gardening pot with full of flowers or visitation to the hospital garden every day. They view mountain, waterfalls, springs, trees and the sun as sacred. Because Shinto’s believe in spirits, they usually bridge a gap (ritual specialist/ medium) between the world of humans and the world of spirits in order to be healed from their illness. They believe to worship spirits in order to purify them. They often perform simple silent prayers, rituals, and offering to spirits in order to heal from illness (Willburn, 2007). Health care professionals and Faith diversities
The world is saturated with variety of faiths, religions and beliefs. Therefore, it’s common to have faith diversities among health care professionals, which are different from their patients. As health care professionals, nurses and physicians are specifically trained to not impose personal faiths and beliefs to their patients, but to provide moral support and respect to their patients’ faith, values and belief systems. It’s very important to help practice or encourage people’s spiritual care as well as religious needs during hospitalization by health care professionals. In order to be effective in providing spiritual care, it’s vital to be non judgmental to our patient’s spiritual systems. For example, a nurse may offer a keertan to play at bedside or a find a carpeted quiet room to facilitate a Sikh patient’s spiritual need. Likewise, nurse may also help a Buddhist patient with the visualization of light or meditation in order to clear their mind. A Shinto may be helped with his/ her religion by taking him/ her to the hospital garden or place some flower pot with water in it in
the room (Malinski, 2002). Patient views
Patients view health care professionals as the facilitators of their entire health, not just physical health. According to the author’s own personal perspective and experiences, she figured out that patients view nurses are the major health professional facilitators of their entire health. Patients recognize that the nurses view their patients as a whole person and help to meet their every aspects of health such as spiritual, mental, emotional and physical needs during hospitalization. Nurses and other health care professionals always place their own beliefs and value system aside while help patients and families with their spiritual needs and faiths. While Christianity requires and have previous histories of converting others in to the Christianity in order to practice the religion, the other religions such as Sikhism, Buddhism and Shintoism doesn’t requires others to transforming into their religion in order to practice or to help to facilitate their religion. Conclusion
Throughout the research, the author has learned that the health care professionals come in to contact with people from various beliefs/faiths on daily basis. Therefore, it’s vital to assess people’s spiritual faith or beliefs in order to incorporate their belief system to modern medicine, which also will result in to an additive healthy outcome. Although, minority religious affiliations are less common in health care, nurses should treat them with their dignity and should help them to practice their faith by being non judgmental in order to have great benefits of their health care during hospitalization.
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