Read all readings for this module and research other articles or websites associated with
the healing hospital paradigm. As you read, consider how this paradigm might influence
your philosophy of caregiving. Any hospital with a healing component to its mission can be
used as a resource.
Write an essay of 1,000-1,250 words in which you address the following:
- Describe the components of healing hospitals and their relationship to spirituality.
- What are the challenges of creating a healing environment in light of the barriers and
complexities of the hospital environment?
- Include at least one biblical passage or parable that you believe supports the concept of a
healing hospital and provide rationale for your selection.
Prepare this assignment according to the APA guidelines found in the APA Style Guide,
located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.
Remember that Wikipedia is not considered a scholarly source.
Healing hospitals components and how they relate to spirituality
Healing is defined as the process of being restored from disease, imbalance and damage to a
healthy status of body, mind and soul. It is more than just help and cure or fix because care is
involved in the process of healing. It also means to make whole and it may represent both
physical and psychological healing (Puchalski, 2006).
Spirituality is also defined as that which normally gives an invaluable meaning to a person’s life
and surpasses that life in itself. Spirituality is more than just religion and it involves the
connection of one’s soul to the invisible and supernatural being who is in control of life here and
beyond. It is that belief in a relationship with God, in meditation, prayer and interacting with
nature and other human being (Hill, 2003).
The components of a healing hospital include the physical ones, the social components,
emotional support and symbolic components, spiritual and compassionate care. Healing is more
aggrandized when coupled with an aspect of spirituality. This means that spirituality is an
important ingredient of healing. First, spiritual commitment has proved to enhance recovery.
HEALING HOSPITALS 2
Second, spiritual patients tend to cope with pain and illnesses. Lastly, patients with regular and
consistent spiritual practices have proved to live longer (Kliewer, 2004). Some of the healing
hospital components and how they relate with spirituality are discussed below. This is done
using a case study of The Mercy Gilbert Medical Center Healing Hospital™ in Arizona.
- Creating a culture of profound loving and care
Cultivating and nurturing healing relationships
This involves both the developing of healing intentions and that experience of personal
wholeness where the former is more physical and the latter is more of spiritual experience. While
developing healing intentions, one creates understanding, gives hope, expectations and belief in
the patient’s well being and recovery. In personal wholeness, one puts effort in energizing and
growing the mind, soul and spirit of the patient. Empathy, compassion, effective listening and
communication are vital in creating such a relationship that aids in well being and recovery of
the patient. Personal wholeness is a spiritual component of healing process (Kliewer, 2004).
Creating a healing organizational structure
This involves how the healing hospital’s organizational and leadership structure, the healing
values they uphold and how they are passed to others. Their mission, teamwork and culture are
very helpful in a patient’s recovery. Spiritual aspect comes in the way they serve the patients. A
patient needs help, fixing and service. Help and fixing are treatment mostly physical and aided
by experience while service is a spiritual act which involves compassionate care (Gesler, 2004).
Practice of healthy lifestyles
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This includes the administration of proper diet and nutritious eating, sporting and exercises,
relaxing and finding a balance in life through managing stress. The aspect of spirituality comes
in not being anxious and trusting that all will go well even when times are difficult (Levin,
- The physical environment with a healing nature
Healing spaces and surroundings
This is the physical layout of the pace where the patients are admitted for medical care. A place
whose design is spacious, well lit, well aerated, and well conditioned is advisable to enhance
healing. The color, artwork, music and aroma may be considered as spiritual due to their
soothing, comforting and mollifying effects to the patient’s inner being. A design of a room with
all facilities required in treating a patient without having to move them to various rooms as per
health of the patient is recommended. This is because incase the health of a patient deteriorates;
they can be treated in their room without having to move to ICU where they may start worrying.
The spiritual aspect of it is that it improves their hope of living without creating a picture to them
that they are becoming worse (Puchalski, 2006).
- Integrating technology and work design
Collaborative medicine and health care
This involves administering of both the conventional and complementary medicine as well as
health care services. It involves the traditional practice in health care and medicine which mostly
involved spiritual intervention as well as the modern medicine which is characterized by use of
HEALING HOSPITALS 4
modern technology in diagnosis and treatments. Integrating the two is so impactful than just one
of the two; either traditional alone or the modern technological medicine alone (Gesler, 2004).
The major challenges experienced in creating a hospital healing environment
A healing environment is not easy to create but takes much effort and dedication by the health
care providers to establish it. Several factors have led to the challenges in health care provision
of a healing environment.
- Profit oriented hospitals
Most of the hospitals even those owned by the government have more focus on profitability
hence minimizing the matter of creating a healing conducive environment (Puchalski, 2006).
The Mercy Gilbert Medical Center Healing Hospital™ in Arizona
This hospital above was built with a focus on the healing environment, where patient feel
comfortable and safe and the employees have a true meaning of choosing a career in health care.
- Differences in religious beliefs
HEALING HOSPITALS 5
This is another factor which creates a big challenge in establishing a haling environment. Most
people find it difficult to encourage the other using their religious beliefs especially if they
contradict. For instance, Jehovah witness believers do not believe in blood transfusion. This
makes it hard for a care giver to get the right words of encouraging such a person. However, it is
important that the caregivers get to understand well the background of the patient so as to get
appropriate ways of treating the patient (Puchalski, 2006).
Healing hospitals: A biblical concept
It is a biblical concept to have a healing environment in hospitals. The bible has a lot of passages
on loving and serving one another. The bible also encourages the believers to meet the needs of
those who are suffering and reaching out to them. God is compassionate and He expects us to be
like Him since we are created in His image. The most striking scripture in the bible about healing
environment is the gospel of Luke chapter 10 from verse 30 to 35. (Emphasis in bold italics is
33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity
on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the
man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out
two denarii [a] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I
will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.” Luke 10:30-35, NIV
This parable talks about a Good Samaritan who saw a person robbed, beaten and wounded by
robbers and was almost dead. This man was a foreigner in this land but he decided to take
responsibility. A Levite and a Priest just passed this man by the road side and never cared about
Him. This proves that religiosity is not that important in medical care or healing process but that
HEALING HOSPITALS 6
spirituality and connecting with others emotionally to support them. It also shows that we need to
treat people with mercy and with love despite their race or our knowledge of them. The Good
Samaritan started by giving help, fixing the problem by bandaging wounds and pouring oil on
them and in addition took him to the inn to serve and care for him. It took him sacrifice and this
is a good example of a healing hospital and an exemplary culture on how care givers should treat
patients in healing hospitals (Zondervan, 2002)
Gesler, Wil, Morag Bell, Sarah Curtis, Phil Hubbard, and Susan Francis. 2004. Therapy by
design: Evaluating the UK hospital building program. Health and Place, vol. 10 no. 2
Levin, J. (2002). God, faith, and health: Exploring the spirituality-healing connection. Wiley.
Puchalski, C. M., & McSkimming, S. (2006). Creating healing environments. Health Progress,
Kliewer, S. (2004). Allowing spirituality into the healing process. Journal of family practice,
Zondervan, N. I. V. (2002). Study Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 146-147.
Hill, P. C., & Pargament, K. I. (2003). Advances in the conceptualization and measurement of
religion and spirituality. American psychologist,