Spirituality is not always or only defined by ones religious values and religious affiliations. The definition itself could be different from person to person or even between cultures. It’s more about understanding and learning who you are and making that connection to yourself. The value of connection carries on to the health care professions too and this where spirituality is essential to all medicine and health care. The process of understanding the patient and making that connection is valuable especially when there is a relation between one’s health and spirituality.
Even though the medicine and treatment procedures help the patient with curing the illness, there is that factor of spirituality that goes into complete recovery. That’s where it’s important for the health care professional to go outside of the medicine routine to make that connection and help the recovery process. Healing hospitals have different components that would help relax a patient’s or family’s mind and body which will only benefit them physiologically.
According to Lane (2005), when body is relaxed it helps to lower blood pressure and heart rate, increase blood flow to the GI system and endorphins are released to the brain. As per Eberst (2008) who is the CEO of No. 1 healing hospital- Mercy Gilbert medical center in Arizona, the components of healing hospitals should have a healing physical environment, integration of work design and technology, compassionate loving care. Eberst (2008) states that Healing hospitals like “Mercy Gilbert medical center provides a loving, compassionate aesthetically pleasing environment that promotes healing” (p.77).
A true healing environment is created in customs that assist patients and family deal with the stresses of illness (Eberst, 2008, p. 77). A quiet, noise- free environment helps with healing of patients and it promotes a calmer, stress free environment for employees including the health care providers of the hospital.
The second component is the combination of work design and technology and some of the examples are educational tools for patients that will promote health awareness and healthy living of patients, biofeedback education by all testing departments for stress reduction, guided imagery CD to help with healing before surgery , skylight system which provides in room education specific to patient’s needs, periodic surveys to monitor satisfaction levels with treatment, live music in the hallway and healing music through the skylight system which provides a calm and relaxing environment for everyone in the hospital.
The third component is the most critical one as per Erie chapman who is the healthcare industry leader because it wouldn’t be a complete healing hospital if there are no employees who follow the philosophy of giving a loving, caring and compassionate care. Without a strong culture of compassionate care it would be just a pretty hospital with the other two components.
In Mercy Gilbert hospital, every room has touch pad outside for the health care employees before they enter the room which has the words “pause, reflect, heal” and this is placed there to help each employee who encounters with the patient to think on their role in assisting with the healing of that patient (Eberst, 2008, p. 79). The leadership team of Mercy Gilbert medical center rewards and recognizes hospital employees who has gotten good reviews from the patients which will help support the role each employee play in making a difference in a patient’s life.
One of the first challenges of creating a healing environment is approaching the patient. Patients come from many different backgrounds and have different opinions about religion, culture and spirituality and their life experience. There are also patients with mental health issues and most of the patients who are admitted are overly stressed and frustrated. As a nurse, if we work in a hospital that does not have the first two components of a healing hospital mentioned above, then, our work becomes more challenging.
It is our duty to create a stress free, calm environment for these patients and may be even put extra effort with care and have spiritual conversations with patients which probably can make up the absence of an aesthetical healing or a technologically advanced environment. We as nurses should discover our own way of relating to spiritual issues before we explore another individual’s spirituality. Another challenge is not enough staffing. A lot of hospitals are understaffed with nurses and providers which lead to work over load which then turns into a stressful environment.
In addition, extensive documentation required by the staff leads to less time spend with patients and work overload leads to lower quality of care provided to patient. One of the bible passages that support the idea of a healing hospital is Luke 8:43-48. It is about a woman who has been bleeding for twelve years but no one was able to heal her. She decided to touch the edge of the Jesus’s cloak without him knowing in a very crowded area which healed her and Jesus knew immediately that someone received his power and he asked who it was.
The woman appeared in front of him because she knew she could not go unnoticed and Jesus said to her “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace. ” This passage explains that faith is important to heal yourself which will lead to peace because that woman was able to heal just by touching the cloak of Jesus without him seeing her and she was cured because of her faith in him and Jesus had immediately recognized her faith. This parable supports the concept of a healing hospital whose critical component is healing through faith, peace, relaxation in addition to medications and procedures.
It is important for a health care professional to gain a patient’s faith otherwise a patient cannot relax their mind and body. Spirituality is intricate and is part of many aspects of the human experience; it is our inner belief system. Spirituality assists people in search of the implication and purpose of one’s life and it helps them experience hope, love, inner peace, comfort, and support. It is a valuable source in the journey of healing. As health care providers, it is important that we create a healing environment for our patients and for ourselves for a better outcome. References Lane, Mary Rockwood.
(2005). Creativity and Spirituality in Nursing: Implementing Art in Healing. Holistic Nursing Practice 19(3). 122-125 Retrieved from http://maryrockwoodlane. com/articles/csn/assets/CreativityNursing. pdf Dunn, L. (2010). Creating Healing Environments: A Challenge for Nursing. Online Journal of Rural Nursing and Health Care, 10 (2), 3-4. http://ehis. ebscohost. com. library. gcu. edu:2048/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer? sid=412b8bb6-c5ca-487e-aa5f-93a8b6c8f85c%40sessionmgr4002&vid=2&hid=4205 Ashcraft, L. , Anthony, W. , Mancuso, L. (2010). Is Spirituality Essential for Recovery? Behavioral healthcare, 30 (7), 7-8.