Globally, there are many religious groups with a rich history that spans centuries. This has led to many advantages enjoyed by having a rich and diverse culture, which has led to challenges, when it comes to dealing from minority religious groups and health care services. The various religious groups have distinct healing practices and methods put in place; therefore, healthcare professionals need to integrate faith contrast with modern medical practices in order to provide effective healthcare.
The wellbeing of patients is a function of healthcare professionals. There are many methods that are employed to achieve this, and are focused on safeguarding the health of patients. This involves the physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. Health professionals should produce a loving relationship with patients through regular interactions with them. Some of the issues that occur during interaction with patients and the process of building association are related to spirituality. Thus, spiritual wellbeing is particularly essential for many patients during the process of healing, especially when patients need to infer a higher deity or God. A challenge experienced by medical practitioners is the acceptance of various religious groups and beliefs in order to nature the spiritual wellbeing of a patient during the periods of hospitalization. This paper analyzes different situations experienced by medical practitioners, when providing holistic medical care with regards to different religions and how to deal with the situation.
A Buddhist Patient
An interview with a Buddhist who had stayed in hospital for more than three weeks who had heart complications had indicated stable conditions. The patient showed calmness and chose to stay in bed for most of the time, when he was hospitalized. The Buddhist patient had a small statue that represented an image having two arms put in a praying position, placed next to the bedside stand. During the interview, the old man requested his eldest son to be present. The man was particularly keen to reveal his spiritual beliefs that stemmed from deep rooting in the works of Buddhism. According to the religious belief of man, the process of disease and the things that followed after the incidence forms no bigger purpose for him.
The patient believed that things happen, because they can happen, rather than being bound to happen. Thus, concerning his illness, the man was keen to suggest that if he were to be healed and recovered, it would be the result of a relationship with other factors that are not directly connected to him. These are factors that are incorporated in the immediate environment, the world, as well as, the metaphysical, and not him alone.
According to the patient, healing comes when the body and soul are properly aligned with one another. Furthermore, he also believes that the current stratus of his health is as a result of some negligent action or behavior. Thus, this implies that Karma has a lot to do with his health status. The healing process must start with a period of mediation, which is one of the key pillars of Buddhism (Paonil & Sringernyuang, 2002). According to the faith and beliefs of Buddhists, the healing process is more than using modern medicine and technology in medical facilities. Thus, the patient requested to be allowed to a secure corner in the room to establish a shrine. The nurse in charge never objected to his request. In addition, the patient pointed out that the healing process starts from acknowledging that there is something off in a patient’s essence. Among Buddhists, the process of Dhamma, as well as, meditation to achieve peace starts, seeking to provide a balance in the alleged imbalances present in the metaphysical (Paonil & Sringernyuang, 2002).
In his argument, the patient stated that meditation assists a patient to find peace, and usually meditate alone particularly in the afternoon after the time allocated for visitation elapses.
The patient also stated that he was aware that other people may conclude that his behavior in the hospital is weird; however, he appreciated the hospital staff for not discriminating him in any way. Furthermore, the nurse who was in charge was not a Buddhist, but as time went by, the nurse accompanied him during some time of meditation and even sat and listened to some teachings concerning the religion. This was particularly beneficial to the patient, because it provided moral to him as the nurse did not show any attitude that could demoralize his faith and belief, but instead respected his belief as he maintained an open and non-judgmental mind during the time he was hospitalized. The nurse was a devoted Christian but, the patient did not attempt to convert her to his religion (Buddhism). On the other hand, the patient was extremely comfortable with the nurse, because she never judged him according to his religion. Among Christians, one would require that, if one among two is not a Christian then the non-Christian should be converted to Christianity. This is in contrast to the Buddhist belief that requires one to understand the principles of Buddhism (Ashcroft, Dawson & Draper, 2007).
It is essential to understand that healing happens, when there is a balance existing between the body, mind, emotions and spirit, as well as, physical connections. Through the interview, it is evident that there are similarities between Christianity and Buddhism, when providing healthcare to patients. There is an emphasis in both religions on the role religion plays in order for a patient to get healed. There is a belief in power of prayer and meditation for a patient to get healed. A Christian patient and a Buddhist patient have faith and believe that through prayer and mediation, there can be changes in suffering that patient are currently facing.
With regards to Buddhism, a patient who mediates undergoes less suffering, hence creates confidence in patients and forms a vital component of the healing process. Consequently, mediation and prayers among Christians make patients to develop confidence in patients that God can heal them (Ashcroft, Dawson & Draper, 2007).