In today’s healthcare society it is vitally important that healthcare professionals not only address the physical needs of the patient, but the emotional and spiritual needs of the patient as well. In the New Testament the Bible speaks of how Jesus healed the sick. Luke 4: 40 states that “When the sun was setting, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them (NIV)”. Healthcare providers must have the compassion that Jesus showed to the sick while he was here on earth.
This paper will be discussing the different elements of a healing hospital and its association with spirituality, the challenges of creating a healing hospital environment, and a supportive passage from the Bible that promotes the concept of a healing hospital. There are few healing hospitals here in the United States. The author of this paper has been fortunate enough to visit a healing hospital in her home state of Arizona. The healing hospital that the author is referring to is Mercy Gilbert Medical Center in Gilbert.
The author of this paper felt that the ambiance of the hospital was extremely different, as compared to the ambiance of many hospitals that she has visited. The ambiance of Mercy Gilbert is peaceful. Mercy Gilbert, as a healing hospital, embraces three main elements: “a healing physical environment, the integration of work design and technology, and a culture of Radical Loving Care” (Mercy Gilbert Medical Center [MGMC], 2013, para. 4). Mercy Gilbert’s association with spirituality is integrated in all three major components.
The “healing physical environment” (MGMC, 2013, the healing hospital section, no. 1) encompasses not only the patient, but their families as well. “We have learned that by creating a loving, compassionate, and aesthetically pleasing environment, we are able to help patients and families cope with stress and illness” (MGMC, 2013, The healing hospital section, no. 1). “The integration of work design and technology” (MGMC, 2013, The healing hospital section, no. 2) has allowed the people who work for this facility “to work more efficiently while providing additional privacy and security for patients.
Utilizing the most advanced technology available today also assists in providing a healing environment” (MGMC, 2013, The healing hospital section, no. 2). The third element of Mercy Gilbert’s healing hospital is that of providing “a culture of Radical Loving Care” (MGMC, 2013, The healing hospital section, no. 3). This element is the most important element of the three elements. This philosophy has allowed Mercy Gilbert Medical Center to embrace a custom of “compassionate care” (MGMC, 2013, The healing hospital section, no. 3).
This philosophy has not only aided in reminding the medical staff of why they chose the healthcare profession, but has also aided in promoting healing that is holistic in nature. Holistic care allows healthcare professionals to not only address the physical needs of their patients, but “their emotional and spiritual needs as well” (MGMC, 2013, The healing hospital section, no. 3). Creating a healing hospital environment is an essential component to a patient’s recovery. Therefore all members of the healthcare team must make a commitment to provide their patients with holistic care.
Unfortunately, there are many challenges to creating a healing hospital environment. “Above all, do no harm, cure whenever possible, treat appropriately, and heal always” (Neigher & Hakim, 2012, p. 3). This is the foundation for which the healthcare profession was founded upon, yet unfortunately there are many challenges to creating a healing hospital environment. Some of the challenges to creating a healing hospital environment include: semi-private rooms, the decor of the hospital itself, and environmental stressors such as excessive noise.
Many older hospitals offer only semi-private rooms which can interrupt a patient’s rest if roomed with a noisy or confused patient. The decor of many older hospitals have been compared to that of a dark, dreary prison; and studies have shown that environmental stressors such “excessive noise, glare, and poor air quality can create stress as is evidenced by increased heart rate and blood pressure and reduced oxygen levels in the blood in both adults and babies who are exposed to these environmental concerns” (Zborowsky & Kreitzer, 2008, Reduce environmental stressors section).
None of these examples are conducive to a healing hospital environment. Fortunately, many hospitals have recognized the importance of integrating spirituality into the care their patients receive. The hospital that the author is associated with is one example of an older hospital that understands the importance of offering a healing hospital environment. Spirituality has been one of the recent main focuses of this hospital. Recently this hospital added a new surgical floor that offers private rooms, a calming decor and a quiet ambiance.
This hospital also has added a beautifully and spaciously designed healing garden as part of their effort to provide a healing hospital environment. “Patients with views of nature have significantly less post-operative stay times, fewer negative comments from caregivers, less medication use and experience fewer minor post-operative complications than patients with views of a wall (Ulrich, 1984)” (Severtsen, n. d. , p. 1, para. 2).
It is the author’s belief that healing gardens calm the spirit, because God created nature and nature reminds man of God’s infinite power. A passage in the Bible that promotes the concept of a healing hospital can be found in Proverbs 14:30, “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones (NIV). ” This verse links the heart (emotional and spiritual) to the body (physical). The author of this paper interprets this as healing can take place when the person has inner peace, but if the person does not have peace they will remain sick, even die.
A healing hospital understands the vital role that addressing emotional and spiritual needs has on the physical healing of their patients. In conclusion, a healing hospital environment is imperative to the healing process of the patients that they care for. Healthcare professionals, especially those who believe in God, must remember to always have a Christ-like spirit when caring for their patients. Healthcare professionals must remember that there is a direct correlation to one’s physical recovery that is linked to their spiritual and emotional needs as well.
Providing a more holistic approach to healthcare is imperative to the healing process of the patients that healthcare professionals are blessed to care for. References Mercy Gilbert Medical Center. (2013). Golden thread of compassionate care. Dignity Health. Retrieved from http://www. mercygilbert. org/Who_We_Are/Golden_Thread/index. htm Neigher, W. D. , & Hakim, S. M. (2012, January). Creating a sustainable “healing culture” throughout a healthcare system: Using community psychology principles as a guide.
Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice, 2(3), 1-25. Retrieved from http://www. gjcpp. org/pdfs/WBN-SH-final. pdf Severtsen, B. (n. d. ). Healing gardens. Retrieved from http://depts. washington. edu/open2100/pdf/2_OpenSpaceTypes/Open_Space_Types/healing_gardens. pdf Zborowsky, T. , & Kreitzer, M. J. (2008, March). Creating optimal healing environments in a health care setting. Minnesota Medicine. Retrieved from http://www. minnesotamedicine. com/CurrentIssue/ClinicalZborowskyMarch2008/tabid/2489/Default. aspx.