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Health Care Provider And Faith Diversity - With A Free Essay Review



In almost all health care facilities today there are patients from different countries and religions. Even the health care providers are diverse in culture, language, and belief. They are all united under one umbrella working in one establishment to provide the best care to their patients. In order for these facilities to excel and provide the best care, the health care provider despite their own cultures and religions should accommodate and be sensitive to their patients needs to facilitate healing, based on spiritual perspective.

Faith and spirituality are very important to patients. Faith by definition is: “1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing. 2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. 3. Loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance: keeping faith with one's supporters. 4. Often Christianity Faith The theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God's will. 5. The body of dogma of a religion: the Muslim faith”(The American Heritage Dictionary, 2012). While spirituality is difficult to comprehend because it is part of the human experience. It is unique and different from on human to another even in the same faith. According to medical dictionary “spiritual healing is the use of spiritual practices, such as prayer, for affecting a cure of or an improvement in an illness” (medical dictionary, 2012). But both faith and spirituality play a major role in individual’s healing. Spirituality and faith in the health care setting are important to the well-being of a patient’s. Even the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare (JCHAO) has emphasized that the patient’s well-being gets affected by the patient’s spirituality, and cultural values. And the health care system should take in consideration the patient’s beliefs and culture when they provide medical cares (Ehman, 2011).

The healing process for patients is very important, and it is done when health care providers tend to the patient’s physical, spiritual, and religious needs. Even if these beliefs are a contradiction to his/her own beliefs. Some patients will occasionally ask the health care provider to pray for them, or sometimes the patient just wants to tell their feelings or emotions regarding the procedure. The health care provider should be able to help with such matters. That is why knowing the basics of these religions is essential to the healing process. Most religions teach the state or belief in a supreme power, or God. Also humans go through different stages: life, death, and resurrection. Some Religions also emphasize on the final dwelling place, hell or paradise, and those beliefs or teachings are also known in the three major religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. But some religions such as Buddhism, Baha’ism, and Sikhism have the same values and beliefs, and they are less known for various reasons.

First, we will look at the faith of Buddhism. Buddha lived in northern India 2600 years ago, and for almost 45 years he taught his followers how to live unmaterialistic life and overcome suffering (Hollins, 2009). The teaching of Buddhism can be summarized as follows: do good, do no harm, and meditate. When compared to Christianity, both religions urge their followers to attain healing. While Buddhists create confidence through meditation which is important for the individuals healing, Christians create it through praying which gains confidence that God will heal. The difference in beliefs between Christianity and Buddhism is the administration of medical care, outlined in practices of yoga and meditation done by its founder Buddha. The Buddhists practice yoga to achieve self-confidence and the optimism that enables the patient to reduce suffering which they are undergoing. However in Christianity yoga is not practiced (Ehman, 2012).

Baha’u’llah founded Baha’i faith 200 years ago. He lived in turkey but the spread of his message started in Palestine. The core of the religion is that all humanity is one single race (Hollins, 2009). The followers should consult qualified physicians and caretakers. But the components of healing in the Baha’i faith consist of seeking modern science and divine revelation. So they believe in two powers, the first one is the physical healing, and the other one is the spiritual healing. It is similar to the Christine beliefs in terms of displaying a devotional symbol of their faith in the room of (the name of Baha’u’llah or his son) or picture of the Holy Places. Like the Christians displaying the cross, praying is their core component of healing. But also they are different from the Christians belief that they do not have a clergy to pray for them or offer spiritual support. It is allowed for a clergy of other faiths to visit the Baha’i patient and read to him from the Baha’i Sacred writing, the Old Testament, the New Testament, or the Koran (Office of Public Information Baha'is of United States, nd).

Guru Nanak founded Sikhism faith almost 600 years ago and originated in the Punjab, which is located north of India. The word Sikh means discipline. They believe in one God, and he is the ultimate healer (Hollins, 2009). But God also works through medical science. They can increase the benefits of medical treatment, and accelerate the healing process through meditation, chanting God's Name and reciting Shabds from the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. Sikhism believe in meditation being an essential part in healing since it triggers the body to naturally fight the disease by boosting the immunity of the body. The Sikh prefers prayer, citing of hymns and playing holy music to the patient (Cobb, M., Puchalski, C., & Rumbold, B., 2012). They are similar to Christianity in believing that God might heals with a miracle or through the hand of health care providers by showing them the way to accomplish healing. There are some differences between Sikh beliefs and the Christian beliefs: hymns are not cited to or by the patient, and they do not play holy music to the patient. Also there are no denominations in the Sikh beliefs.

Remarkably, patients with Buddhism, Baha’i, and Christian faiths have no problem with health care providers from other religions as long as they allow them space to practice their religious components of spirituality and are encouraged to speed up the healing process. Sikhs on the other hand prefer for ‘Guru Nanak’s’ recognized health care facilities where most of the health care providers acknowledge their faith. The reason for this is that the Sikh religion sets a lot of privacy on some issues such as items of clothing (which have distinct religious meanings) and sexuality (same gender health care provider). In this belief, they prefer those providers who are knowledgeable with the components of their healthcare requirements. Nonetheless, if the health care provider is of a different belief, Sikhs are among the most accepting and tolerating group amongst other faiths (Hollins, 2009).

The significance of the patient’s belief system should not be miscalculated, and should not be regarded as right, wrong, good, or bad. It is an essential component of the patient’s healing process and it should be regarded as such. Health care providers do encounter patients from different nationalities, culture, and beliefs. The beliefs of the health care providers could be the same as the patient they tend to or could be different. Yet it is the duty of the health care provider to help and address the patient’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. And to also treat patients with dignity, respect, compassion, and love to ease their sickness, and to make it somewhat bearable. And the beliefs of the health care provider should never be forced on a patient, especially during such a vulnerable time in their life. All religions inspire the human morals, ethics, and love. And the health care provider should embrace the healing concept even if it is different from their own in dealing with all patients.

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ESSAY REVIEW

Despite the mention of "Buddhism, Baha’ism, and Sikhism" in the final sentence of the third paragraph, the reader of the first three paragraphs may not suspect that the next three paragraphs will be a brief introduction to those three religions (I was expecting instead the development of an argument supporting the various assertions made about the duties of the physician with respect to the religious lives of his or her patients.) I think, therefore, that your introduction doesn't do enough to establish the purpose of the essay. I see now that you want to establish the importance of religion or spirituality to some (or, as you seem to suggest, all) patients in order to justify teaching your reader about those religions, but you also do a bunch of things in your introduction that serve no useful purpose in your essay, such as offering five different definitions of "faith" (without, for all that, explain what you mean by the word in your essay). If the purpose is indeed to inform practicing or aspiring health care providers of religious beliefs with which they might not be familiar, then I think your introduction should say that.

But even if that is the purpose, you should probably still try to justify the assertions you make at the outset, and which your conclusion merely repeats, about the duties of the physician. You seem to think it goes without saying that health care providers have a "duty ... to help and address the patient's ... spiritual needs." I'm not sure it does go without saying and I think your essay would, therefore, be stronger if it explained why your view is better than alternative views (alternative views: one might argue that there are spiritual advisers, such as priests and monks and whatnot, for that sort of spiritual care, and that health care providers have enough knowledge to master in their own fields without having to acquire knowledge of all the world's religions; or that there is something to be said for not demanding that physicians, say, adopt the dishonest position of feigning respect for beliefs they might personally find ludicrous).

Finally, it's unclear to me how useful your account of the three religions you mention would be even to a health care provider who was keen to accept the duty you think devolves upon all health care providers. Why does a doctor or nurse, for instance, need to know that a Buddhist practices yoga, whereas many Christians do not? Are you suggesting that health care providers need to be prepared for the possibility of finding their Tibetan patients in unusual positions? Obviously that is a glib question, but insofar as you are trying to teach your reader something, it might be worthwhile explaining how certain information would actually be useful for healthcare providers to know.

Best, EJ.
Submitted by: vincy
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