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Registered Nurse

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Health care provider and faith diversity
Diana Nguyen
Grand Canyon University
HLT-310V Spirituality in Health Care
Andre Mooney
May 11, 2013

Health care provider and faith diversity
Abstract:
Spiritual healing is defined as the practice of laying on of hand or of distant healing ((Brown, 1998, p. 171). Spiritual healing is a term known to many. However, it means different things and affects different ways to different people depending on their religion backgrounds and beliefs. Within three diverse faiths that are less well-known than the mainstream faith such as Shintoism, Buddhism, and Baha'i, the author will compare the philosophy of providing care from the perspective of each of these three faiths with that of the Christian perspective and the author own personal perspective.
Shintoism
Shintoism is the religious beliefs and practices of Japan. According to Shouler, Shinto is an optimistic faith in believing that all humans are fundamentally good and evil is caused by evil spirits. It is a form of animism and involves the worship of kami which mean “sacred spirit”. Shinto is created by combining two works: “Shin” means God or spirit and “to” means way or path. Shinto beliefs are in the mysterious creating and harmonizing power of kami and in the truthful way of kami. The kami began as the mysterious forces of nature associated primarily with permanent features in the landscape, such as unusual mountains, rocky cliffs, caves, springs, trees and stones("Shinto Therapies," 2002, p. 4) Most Japanese considered death is a natural process as a part of life cycle. Therefore, Shintoism or Buddhism patients may be more open to end-of-life discussions. Conversion to Christianity or other religions, it would certainly have some impact on views of death, dying, and end-of-life issues. Therefore, organ donation is not favored because of the importance of dying intact and life continues after death in the form of reborn Shinto is different than most of other religions because of a few reasons. It is polytheistic, and believing in several gods. It has very little theology and practices no congregational worship. Shinto’s spiritual perspective on healing is praying or "Reiki" touch therapy. Reiki is one of the energy touch healing therapies for relaxation and pain relief. The author believes that Reiki is likely similar to the massages that staffs have been provided during reposition or after bath. Health care providers need to understand the patients' culture beliefs that differ from their own in order to deliver the best care by focusing on patients' spiritual needs. In addition, traditional remedies have been used in parallel with medical treatment as well as acupuncture and shiatsu. Japanese are also less likely to utilize nursing homes for the elders comparing to other cultures. This would be an ethical dilemma for health care providers to make a discharged to home decision due to the in capabilities of family members and the patient’s high level of care.
Buddhist
The Buddhist perspective on healing takes the full dynamics of mind, body and spirit to achieve an effective and comprehensive healing strategies. Buddhism designates prayer and meditation as an essential method for the spiritual perspective on healing. In addition to Buddhism, the tradition of prayer and meditation exists in many religions, such as Hinduism, Christianity etc. There are different types of meditation including calm meditation, insight meditation, and loving-kindness meditation. Another way of healing practiced by Buddhists is the performance of giving. This involves the giving of material gifts to individual monks and to the poor. By giving of spiritual gift, food, or money for those in needs or by the sharing of times, energy, knowledge, and experience for the benefits of others, these contributions bring up a great spiritual perspective on healing effects. In Buddhist perspective, good health is the associated effect of good kamma in the past and vice versa. The critical component of healing in Buddhism is not only including the pharmacological treatments of these measurable symptoms but also more in the combined efforts of the mind and the body to overcome disease (Pinit Ratanakul). In this context, it is similarity with author’s beliefs in the components of healing. It might not able restore patients’ function on its own but rather it is a means by which medicine helps to serve the value of human health and well-being.
Comparing to the Buddhism, Jesus Christ is the one and only son of God in Christian religion. In holy bible, "by faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God's command ("Spiritual and religious perspectives," n.d., p. 2). There are many extraordinary stories believing that Gods might able to restore patients' health status by their strong faith and beliefs in God. Therefore, it is essential for health care providers not only to understand the patients' spirituality but also to have a cultural competent when interaction and providing care to patients. For examples, with chronic illness patients who might lose their hopes in medical treatments, nurse should always support patients to practice their religious beliefs on their daily lives within health care environment to promote coping strategies. According to spiritual care, model of life transition is used to illustrate how both spiritual and cultural perspectives contribute to coping strategies in chronic illness in adaptation of the progression of the disease (Greenstreet, Sep 28-Oct 11,2011, p. 942)
Baha'i believes in health and healing which should be treated with the competent physicians. In Bahai's writings, it stated that "whatever competent physicians or surgeons prescribe for a patient should be accepted and complied with. Do not neglect medical treatment when it is necessary, but leave it off when health has been restored. ("The Baha'is Faith," n.d., p. 4). Bahai's critical component of healing is first by the use of remedies and medicines; the second consists in praying to God and in turning to Him. If the illness is caused by fear or nervous, it will be healed by spiritual rather than by medical treatments. Therefore, both types of treatments should be considered accordantly. Author has similar personal beliefs with non-pharmacological and pharmacological intervention. For example, she will treat cold symptom by herb remedies rather than drugs. In order to provide holistic care to patients, health care providers must have an understanding of the practices of different faiths to prevent non-judgmental attitude; in addition to the knowledge of how to provide the cultural competent in order to feel comfortable in delivering the quality of care. Tiew and Creedy (2011, p.15) points out that the lack of clarity about spirituality may not contribute to a deficit in care, but inappropriate assessment and plans of care.
In summary, it is very important for health care provider to understand and to deliver the spiritual diversity healing without stereotypical assumptions and different with their own beliefs. Each culture has its own unique spiritual belief practice that differs from Christian Religion. Therefore, healthcare providers should be aware and open to learning about the patients' faith in order to provide best care possible to all diversity patients.

References
Brown, C. (1998, April 6, 2000). Methodological problem of clinical research into spiritual healing: the healer’s perspective. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, 6(171-176), 171. http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org.libragy.guc.edu:2048/10.1089/acm.2000.6.171
Greenstreet, W. (Sep 28-Oct 11,2011, Sep 28-Oct 11). Spiritual care. From spirituality to coping strategy: making sense of chronic illness. British Journal of Nursing, 15(938-942), 942. Retrieved from http://ehis.ebscohost.com.library.gcu.edu:2048/ehost/detail?sid=2dd1b138-2d93-4432-ade
Holladay, P. (1997). Holy bible. Retrieved from
Ratanakul, P. (2008, October-December 2008). Health, disease, and healing: the Buddhist contribution. Dharma World Magazine. Retrieved from www.rk-world.org/dharmaworld/dw_2008
Shinto therapies spiritual healing. (2002). Retrieved from http://world-religions-cults.c0.uk/shinto/shinto-main.htm
Spiritual and religious perspectives. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://spiritualchristian.com/2-perspectives.htm
The Bahai’s Faith. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.bahai.org
Tiew, L., & Creedy, D. (2010). Integration of spirituality in nursing practice: a literature review. Singapore Nursing Journal, 37(1), 15. Retrieved from http://library.gcu.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct+true&db

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