Health Care Provider and Faith Diversity

Health Care Provider and Faith Diversity:

The practice of health care providers at all levels brings you into contact with people from a variety of faiths. This calls for knowledge and acceptance of a diversity of faith expressions.

The purpose of this paper is to complete a comparative analysis of two faith philosophies towards providing health care, one being the Christian perspective. For the second faith, choose a faith that is unfamiliar to you. Examples of faiths to choose from: Sikh, Baha’i, Buddhism, Shintoism, etc

Abstract

As determined, faith and diversity remains one of the essential components in healthcare. This paper seeks to conduct a comparison of faith and diversity through the use of the seven worldview questions. The paper will additionally address the critical components of two religions and some of the essential factors that need to be considered by health care givers. Additionally, the paper will address my personal perspective of healing and how this can be applied in care.

Health Care Provider and Faith Diversity:

            Healthcare providers, despite their level of practice, interact with people from different faiths. Therefore, the providers should accept and know about the diverse faith expressions. Worth noting, diversity is a fundamental component when seeking to provide equitable healthcare where there is no discrimination. Both the religious backgrounds of the patients and professionals matter a lot as they influence how disease is perceived, disease management, care delivery, and how those involved interact.

There are some common perspectives on various healthcare matters in Buddhism and Christianity. There is a great need for providers to be equipped with the necessary skills so as to be able to handle the patients appropriately. Hence, faith diversity should be assimilated in the practice so that the patients are served optimally. This paper aims at offering a comparative investigation of Christianity and Buddhism as faith philosophies with varying healthcare provision aspects.

Comparing Christianity and Buddhism on Matters of Health

The Concept of God

The concept of God according to Christianity varies from that of the Buddhists. According to Christianity, God is considered as divine and possess come attributes such as omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience and believe that man was created in the image of God. According to Christians, man was created for the primary purpose of fellowship with God with the unity between man and God considered attainable by abiding to the teachings of Christ who is Gods physical embodiment(Koenig, 2012). Jesus according to Christians is the son of God and his teachings are considered to have come from God given through scriptures. God as viewed by the Christians is viewed as the healer as stated in the word(Psalm 103:2-5)

According to the Buddhists, there is a belief that there is no existence of an external concept of God thus attributing everything that exists as spontaneous thus arising and growing like seed(Koenig, 2012). It is however essential to consider that the non-Buddhist tend to misunderstand the nature of Buddha and believe that the same concept is evident as that of Christ that personifies God on earth and determine this as far from truth. The Buddhists in line with this consider Buddha as the greatest physician who had the skills of diagnosing and administering healing in a spiritual manner and which would bring results.

The Concept of Self

According to the doctrines of the Christians as ascribed in the Old and New Testaments which are considered as a collection of writings from Christ’s disciples on his teachings, the Christians individual souls are bound to be redeemed during the second coming of Christ who is considered as the savior and who will save the souls of the Christians (Koenig, 2012). This determines the fact that the Christian faith is driven by the relationship between an individual’s soul, the self and God, a factor that will determines if one is to go to heaven or hell. Christians in this case are self-aware that their lives are in the hands of God even when ill with this explaining the reasons why prayer is made to God.

However, the Buddhists consider the element of self as the changing of mental and physical forces. These forces are determined in accordance to the feelings, sensations, physical form, perceptions and intellectual activities that make up the self (Tan, Chan, & Reidpath, 2013). In this case, the element of self is not considered as permanent. In relation to self, the Buddhists believe that it is the initiative of an individual to engage in intellectual activities such as consciousness and volitions in order to get healed.

Suffering

Suffering is an issue that varies according to these two faiths. Christians believe that the element of suffering originated from man’s transgressions and believe that the continuation of rejection of God would result in eternal suffering (Tan, et.al.2013). On the other hand, Christians also believe that God sent Christ to die on the cross to redeem man from suffering through Christ. This can be explained best in accordance to John 14:6. Suffering in this case would result in the form of sicknesses that people undergo that is attributed to either a transgression as viewed by the Christians.

On the other hand, the Buddhist view on suffering is in relation to the Four Noble Truths which are considered as the reflections made by Buddha. Buddha alleges that there are different measures of suffering with the converse of suffering attributed to earthly pleasures(Tan, et.al.2013).The Buddhists in this case believe that sicknesses would result out of the desires of earthly pleasures as compared to the Christians who believe that the reason for suffering is engagement in sin.

Miracles

The Christians believe that miracles are some of the essential elements as explained in scriptures and are performed by God. The Christians therefore allege that miracles are the supernatural acts of creation that are accomplished through the word (Tan, et.al.2013). This can be viewed in some of the happenings in scripture such as the healing of a blind man in John 9:1-41. Christians in this case believe that miracles are bound to in their lives when they are ill and this supports the reasons why prayers are made to God.

The Buddhist on the other hand believes in the aspect of miracles. However, they Buddha allege that such powers can only be acquired when an individual trains his mind to meditate. In this case, individuals have the ability to train their mind to meditate and concentrate mentally in order to achieve miracles.

Prayers

            Prayer is all about approaching divinity humbly, and five main aspects are involved. These are confession, thanksgiving, praise, beseeching, and petitioning. Buddhists often pray to awaken their inner strengths so as to be able to counter problems like ill health. A majority of the Buddhists pray before undergoing through complicated clinical procedures like chemotherapy or surgery. In the same way, Christians have a deep regard for prayer and they often pray to seek God’s healing. For the case of Christians, they use examples from the Bible to strengthen the belief that they will be healed after praying, such as the case of Hezekiah in second Kings chapter 20 and verse 5 (Chui et al., 2014).

Meditation

            Meditation is used regularly as a therapeutic strategy for promoting diseases recovery. This approach’s scientific concepts are not clear. However, scientists have the belief that there exists an amazing biological mechanism which is connected to the process. A lot of research work has studied the mindfulness meditation that Buddhists use and established that there is indeed a solid biological linkage as well as the perceived spiritual functionality. Christians mostly engage in meditation via prayers. A lot of studies describe this practice as a non-pharmacological strategy that is effective in promoting patients’ recovery. The effectiveness linked to the practice motivates scientists to assess the biological importance connected to the process (Koenig, 2012). On the other hand, Christians also believe in the meditation of scripture as another essential element is the promotion of recovery. This is closely tied to prayer since the patient recites the scriptures verses in prayer. It is essential to consider that the Buddhist also believe in meditation and also meditate during moments when there is a need of recovery.

Beliefs

            Both Buddhism and Christianity stress that both beliefs and faith offer some effectiveness in curing different conditions. There is a belief in both religions that people can actually recover from different diseases so long as they possess strong faith and belief. Believers of the two religions dedicate themselves to the beliefs they hold before praying or offering sacrifices while seeking divine healing (Young, 2011). Basically, religion determines the manner in which people express their beliefs in relation to disease management, etiology, and treatment. The two religions also instill the belief that the followers would realize a prognosis that is desirable. The information and teachings that the believers have about different diseases basically influence their beliefs.

What patients consider important when being cared for by providers with different spiritual beliefs

            When receiving care from providers with different spiritual beliefs, patients are often uncomfortable. Therefore, they should inform the provider about matters they consider important or feel necessary during care and treatment reception. Providers have a duty of respecting the patients’ wishes. Therefore, competent care would be provided after the wishes are understood. Overlooking the patient’s beliefs would lead to the patient’s dissatisfaction. In case the provider conflicts with the wishes of the patient, he or she can guide the patient to personnel who share the same beliefs as the patients or one who can offer religious services. Both Christians and Buddhists would benefit a lot if connected to their chaplains (Tan, Chan & Reidpath, 2013). It is in this case essential for health care givers to understand the religions of the patients. Patients would want to have their care givers to respect their religious affiliations

Individual Spiritual Perspective In Relation To Healing

            In my view, it is essential to consider that the concept of healing is one that is existent. I believe that healing still happens as it did in the times of Jesus and this requires the element of faith in action. However, it is important to consider the fact that healing may also be impacted by miracles. This can be supported by the instances in the scriptures of healing.

Lessons from the research

            There are different aspects which highlight the need to affirm as well as celebrate diversity. Healthcare providers should seek to be familiar with the beliefs and practices of the different religions, which would enable them offer religion-sensitive care. Respect for other people’s religions can promote peace, harmony, and brotherly love that people are constantly seeking. There is a great need to embrace diversity since this means a lot to the patients outcomes which are attained. Ignoring diversity in healthcare has often been associated with immense drawbacks including employee turnover and shortage, increased healthcare costs, immense negative patient outcomes, and a bad reputation.

Healthcare providers should seek to know about the religion of a patient before beginning the care process, and ensure that there is a conducive environment in which the patient can continue practicing his religious beliefs. If need be, providers should link the patient to his or her chaplain for different services. Even if it takes training, this should be conducted among the healthcare providers so that they can know about the different religions in details so that their efforts in care provision can bear desirable fruits (Schumm & Stoltzfus, 2011). Without considering the religious and spiritual aspects that the patients hold dear, the care being offered is mostly ineffective. This is based on the fact that healthcare and healing are holistic factors that rely on so many factors. If some factors are ignored, then the needed outcomes would not be realized.

Conclusion

            Undoubtedly, there is a close connection between spirituality, patient outcomes, and healing. Providers should acknowledge the beliefs and faith of the patients when offering care to them for patient satisfaction to be enhanced. Through their different religions, followers gain hope and are able to think positively, which greatly promotes patient recovery (Bajaj, Chaudhary& Shrestha, 2013). Buddhism as well as Christianity promotes the recovery and healing of the followers. Hence, providers should be keen on offering the patients an environment in which they can undertake their different spiritual activities like meditation and prayers. This promotes positive outcomes and satisfaction, and ensures religious-sensitive care. In my view, it is essential to consider that the concept of healing is one that is existent. I believe that healing still happens as it did in the times of Jesus and this requires the element of faith in action. However, it is important to consider the fact that healing may also be impacted by miracles. This can be supported by the instances in the scriptures of healing.

References

Bajaj, B. K., Chaudhary, S., & Shrestha, R. (2013). Etiological beliefs of patients with neurological disorders attending a tertiary care center: A cross-sectional study. Journal of Neurosciences in Rural Practice, 4(4), 383–386.

Chui, P. L., Abdullah, K. L., Wong, L. P., &Taib, N. A. (2014). Prayer-for-health and complementary alternative medicine use among Malaysian breast cancer patients during chemotherapy. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 14, 425. (2012). Religion, Spirituality, and Health: The Research and Clinical Implications. ISRN Psychiatry, 2012, 278730.

Schumm, D. Y., & Stoltzfus, M. (2011). Disability and religious diversity: Cross-cultural and interreligious perspectives. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Tan, M.-M., Chan, C. K. Y., & Reidpath, D. D. (2013). Religiosity and Spirituality and the Intake of Fruit, Vegetable, and Fat: A Systematic Review. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM, 2013, 146214.Biologic effects of mindfulness meditation: growing insights into neurobiologic aspects of the prevention of depression. Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience : JPN, 36(2), 75–77

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