Health and Spirituality
Because of globalization, people from all lifestyles intermingle with one another. This has also triggered the need for the nurses to learn to appreciate people from various diversities and from different religious affiliations. Patients come from different religious groups hence practice different faiths. This paper delineates on the major world regions and makes comparison between the same on how they approach healing. Despite the fact that we come from different faith groups, we all are entitled to better treatment with kindness and compassion.
The first religion affiliation is Buddhism. Buddhism endeavors to develop the minds of the believers to make them compassionate as well as in their decision-making (Bhikshu, 2004). It therefore places much emphasis on the mind to perfect oneself and as well requires that people treat others in the same way they want themselves to be treated. Christians believe that people need to love one another as they do themselves and believe that a sick person requires a quiet and calm atmosphere to heal quickly. Therefore, in any hospital or at home, signs can be used to caution visitors to maintain silence to avoid disrupting the peace of the sick. In all interactions, people and even nurses must maintain calm and show a caring attitude because this is the cultural norms of the Buddhism. Hence, nurses must factor these Buddhism beliefs when they provide care and as they help the patient through their healing processes.
Another interesting religious affiliation that enhances understanding of the diversities in approach to healing is the Native American. The belief system of this people is based on nature (Farrell & Koithan, 2010). They get spiritual nourishment by observing the laws of nature through storytelling, use of herbs, ceremonies, manipulative therapies and prayers to prevent illness. Therefore, these people would feel at peace and will heal when they are placed in a serene environment surrounded with gardens or finding time to spend outside. The nurses healing with such patients must therefore, provide spiritual treatment as it is an integral aspect in their healing. Understanding perception of these people is important for the nurses towards providing compassionate healthcare to them.
The last religion group is Hinduism. Like the other religious affiliations, Hindus too have their own belief systems and own approach to the aspects of healing. Hinduism on the other hand believe that they are in charge of their own health hence it is their religious obligation to maintain health (Naidoo, 1989). To the Hindus, the concept of preventive medicine is based on the tenet that attainment of good health is a religious duty and this is manifest and justified from their scriptures. This spiritual belief is challenging in case they are diagnosed with illness that is not preventable. Explaining to them that it is not their fault can be a daunting job to do for a nurse. Nevertheless, the practitioner can still provide health services by respecting their beliefs system. The most important thing is to understand that they have a different belief system and to use the available avenue to help promote their health at the same time respecting them and showing compassion to them.
The three diverse faiths have similarities as well as differences. For instance, Christians and Buddhists need to show love to others. This therefore extends to provision of health services. Nurses need to show compassion and provide all the necessities to enhance healing process. Christians emulate the love of Christ and also value their family involvement and prayers. Therefore, these are essential to facilitating healing process. On the other hand, Native Americans believe in nature and therefore, their healing process is enhanced if they are exposed to nature. Hindu on the other hand believes that they have control over their health. Christians on the other hand do not believe this as they appreciate that other illness are beyond their understanding and control. The similarities between the Hindu and Christians are that Christians also believe their body s a temple.
In conclusion, people need to appreciate the diversities and belief systems of others. In a healthcare setting, patients require listening and appreciation of whom they are and their belief system to avoid a feeling that they are not being heard. Nurses spend long time with patients and need to show love, respect, listen to the patient and respect their belief system. They must understand the culture and religions of various people to provide good care to them and enhance the healing process.
Bhikshu, K. (2004). A Buddhist Approach to Health Care. University Virginia Health System – Charlottesville, VA.
Farrell, C. & Koithan, M. (2010). Indigenous Native American Healing Traditions. National Institute of Health.; 6(6): 477–478.
Naidoo, T. (1989). Health and Healthcare, a Hindu Perspective. National Institute of Health; 7(6):643-7.