HealthCare Provider and Faith Diversity
Inmost health care facilities, patients come from different regions andcountries. Similarly, health care providers are also diverse inlanguage, culture, belief. However, they are come together under theumbrella of working together to offer the best health care servicesto patients. For these facilities to do extremely well, the healthcare providers should be prepared to accommodate and be sensitivetowards the patients needs in order to facilitate healing, despitetheir difference in culture and religion. Today, diversity inreligions is dramatically becoming more apparent in health carecentres. Accordingly, health care personnel must understand culturaldimensions in order to develop cultural sensitivity and competency.The notion of “spiritual sensitivity” also requires greaterattention. This paper offers a comparative analysis of two faithsphilosophies, Christianity and Buddhism, toward providing healthcare. It compares the two philosophies views in providing healthcare. It also discusses the spiritual perspective of healing of thetwo religions concerning healing. Lastly, the paper gives importantvalues people should posses when they are cared by health providerswith different spiritual beliefs.
Spiritualityand faith are inseparable and significant to patients. Faith hasdifferent definitions, including:
Certain belief in the trustworthiness and value of a person, thing, or idea
Belief that does not have material evidence or logical proof
trustworthiness to a person or thing
In Christianity, it is a secure belief in God and God’s will
In Islam, it is the body of dogma.
Corresponding,spirituality is complex to understand because it is based humanexperience. It differs with different individuals, even in the samefaith. Andradeand Radhakrishnan(2009), urges that spiritual healing use spiritual practise such asmeditation and prayers to cure or improve on an illness. Therefore,both play a major role in healing and are imperative components tothe health of a patient. The healing process is very vital topatients and is offered by health care providers to cater forpatient’s spiritual, physical, and religious needs. Even though thehealth care providers differ in patient’s beliefs, they should beable to cater for their needs. Occasionally, patients tell theirnurses and doctors to pray for them hence, they should be able todeal with such matters. Koenig(2012), advocate that it is an essential healing process for healthcare providers to have basic knowledge of their patient religions. Inaddition, both Buddhism and Christianity follow their moral preceptswhen it comes to health care and healing. They both have moral codesthat help their patients to make choices on medical choices. Forinstance, both religions consider abortion as murder hence, theyboth prohibit it.
Inboth Christianity and Buddhism, there is provision of healthcarewhere both religion emphasis on their respective teaching andpractises to attain healing. For instance, the two religions believein the power of prayers as a remedy of illness. Prayers are specialform of meditation. Christianity and Buddhist associate prayers withhealth benefits of healing. Through prayers and meditation, patientsfrom both religions have faith that their suffering will reduce orcome into an end. According to Christianity, prayers and meditationcreates patient’s confidence that assure them of healing. The biblestates, “True healing is through prayers, healing comes fromheaven” (TheHoly Bible).Christians believe that when they engage in prayers, there arenatural forces that expedite their healing. They use meditation as asource of strength, joy, and transformation. Consequently, the painbecomes bearable. Similarly, Buddhism religion states that aprayerful patient undergoes less suffering (Samuels,2004).In addition, the religion states that meditation increases patientconfidence, which is a vital component of healing. Buddha taught, “Dogood, do no harm, and meditate” as the strategy to overcomesufferings (Samuels,2014).
Further,both Buddhism and Christianity region believes that although death dooccur, it is not the end of a person but beginning of another life.For instances, Christians believes that if they live according toGod’s will here on earth, they will go to heaven after they die.Likewise, the Buddhism believes in rebirth after death. Both considerdeath and sickness as part of life that every human being has toundergo. Buddhist considers death as a transition point from one lifeto another life (Andradeet. al., 2009).Similar to Christianity, Buddhist believes that if one dies in goodmind state, then, he or she is likely to have a favourable rebirth.They also believe it is essential to provide a friendly environmentto a dying person. In case of death, family and friends of thedeceased recite prayers and mantras to maintain good state of mind.After death, Buddhist believes the deceased then enters “Bardo,”a temporary spiritual life.
However,both Buddhism and Christianity also have some differences in healthcare philosophies. For instance, Buddhism practises yoga andmeditation unlike the Christians who do not. Buddha advocated foryoga and meditation practises as a healing process. They believe yogaincreases self-confidences and optimism hence, it reduces patientsuffering (Samuels,2004).In addition, yoga makes a Buddhist patient to believe that he or shehas power to control the present, as well as the future. Accordingly,the yoga and meditation creates more confidence hence, the painbecome bearable and the healing process become attainable. On thecontrary, Christians do not believe in yoga as a healing procedure.The bible does not mention anything about yoga.
Basedon the above, in both Christianity and Buddhism, there are essentialelement of healing such as prayers, meditation, yoga, and beliefs.Therefore, in a holistic medical care, health care providers shouldconsider all aspects of the patient that include the emotions, thebody, and the spiritual aspect. Therefore, nurses and doctors shouldthey give all supports needed for the healing to occur. They shouldnot overrule their patient beliefs and their effects in the healingprocess. For instance, they should not interfere with Christiansprayers. Nevertheless, they should encourage them.
Medicalpersonnel with a differing faith from their patients should beconscious with the patient’s faith when offering medical care. Theyneed to understand the diversified faiths to offer holistic care.They should be open and consider patient’s faith, and embrace it aswell. Unconditional love is the most important thing that patientshould receive from health care providers who differ from theirbeliefs. According to Hollins(2009),love can bind souls anytime, anywhere, and anyhow. Love does notchoice region. When dealing with faith patients, health carepersonnel should be patient centred and patient desired. They shouldnot do anything that concerns religious/spiritual that involvescoerce. They should not ask patient about their spiritual backgroundbut rather should wait for them to initiate such topics. The patientshould be free to reveal or not reveal their spiritual lives, as wellas free to connect or not connect in their spiritual rituals.Further, health care providers should not influence patient’sdecision on spiritual matters. Instead, spiritual activities such asprayers should be patient centred and not health professionalcentred. Timmins(2012), advices health professionals to have the basic knowledgeabout the religion beliefs and practices especially for the patientsthey are likely to encounter in their places of work. This greatlyassists them on the most appropriate type of care to give to thepatient, especially when they very ill, hospitalised, or near death.
InChristianity, healing is piece of evolving spiritually. That is,emotional, physical, and mental illness of a patient improves. Insome cases, Christians consider illness as a spiritual lesson thatthey undergo as part of spiritual journey. Personally, prayers andmeditation play an important role in healing. We should pray forgenerosity, kindness, love, and protection. We also pray for the sickthat are unable to pray for themselves. The Bible states thatprayerful Christians stay in the light (TheHoly Bible).Negative prayers, such as praying for other to be hurt, invitedarkness. Therefore, it is important to pray for positive things andto surround ourselves with the light. For meditation, it is importantto slow down mind thought and focus on the future. It is good tomeditate on an emotion just to feel joy, peace, and gratitude in theheart. Feeling emotions can accelerate healing emotionally, mentally,and physically.
Andrade,C., & Radhakrishnan, R. (2009). Prayer and healing: A medical andscientific perspective on randomized controlled trials. Indianjournal of psychiatry, 51(4),247.
Hollins,S. (2009). Religions,culture, and healthcare: A practical handbook for use in healthcareenvironments.Oxford: Radcliffe Publishing.
Koenig,H. G. (2012). Religion, spirituality, and health: The research andclinical implications. ISRNpsychiatry, 2012.
Samuels,J. (2004). Review of Buswell, Robert Jr.., ed., The Encyclopedia ofBuddhism.
TheHoly Bible, New Kings James Version, Thomas Nelson Publishers,Nashville, Tenn, USA, 1982.
Timmins,S. (2012). MyHealth, My Faith, My Culture: A guide for healthcare practitioners.Keswick: M & K Update Ltd.