Healing Hospital: Daring Paradigm Grand Canyon University Spirituality in Health Care HLT 310V Currently, Western Medicine in the United States is heavily evidenced based. The therapies and surgeries are validated by clinical trials, are proven to be effective in treating a given disease, and have often been successful at eradicating certain illness and diseases. With modern medicine, the common end goal is to cure. The healing hospital paradigm takes a different approach to medicine.
It focus is on healing, on the recovery and wellness of the patient. It is a holistic approach to medicine; which encompasses the whole person: mind, body and spirit. There are there major elements of healing hospitals: a healing physical environment, the integration of work design and technology, and a culture of “Radical Loving Care. ” This paper will focus on those three components with their relationship to spirituality and the challenges that may result when creating a healing hospital and environment in the presence of modern medicine.
One of the first components of healing hospital is the environment in itself. Laurie Eberst, President and CEO of Mercy Gilbert Medical Center in Gilbert Arizona had first hand experience with a hospital environment that was not conducive to healing. As her mother was recovering from open heart surgery, “I would get her comfortable and positioned for sleep just as the intercom would announce that a doctor was on the phone or the loud floor cleaning machine would swoop next to her room, startling her and causing additional anxiety” (Eberst, 2008).
It was this experience that shaped the formation of Mercy Gilbert Medical Center to become recognized as the number one Healing Hospital in 2008 (Chapman, 2009). One way to create healing environments is by simply having landscape scenes. A study by Ulrich (1984) compared heart surgery patients in intensive care units who viewed landscape those who did not. Patient who saw scenic painted landscapes reported less anxiety, less stress, and required less pain medications. The second component of a Healing Hospital is how well it integrates work design and technologies to not only benefit the nurses but the patients as well.
In a study done at Seton Family of Hospital in Austin Texas by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2008, the hospital was able to reduce the amount of time the staff spent gathering supplies and equipment and increase the amount of time spent at bedside with patients from 32% to 55% by having equipment and supplies readily available in patient’s rooms. Nurses will be able to maximize their time with the patient and create a deeper bond. Instead of saying “my patient in room 6121 it will be Mr. Hawkins who enjoys having hot tea with the morning paper.
A personalize relationship develops and grows into a trusting dynamic relationship in which a patient will feel safe to not only voice their medical concerns but any spiritual needs that may need addressing. Lastly, “Radical Loving Care” is one of the most important aspect of a healing hospital. The philosophy was by Erie Chapman, who felt a healing hospital is not created by a beautiful building or state of the art technology but by a strong culture of compassionate care dedicated to healing (Eberst, 2008).
A large part of Radical Loving Care is building relationships with patients. Purposeful hourly rounding brings a sense of safety and security because patients know someone will be in to check on them. The act of sitting down and talking implies that the nurse has the time for the patient and is actively listening. To further promote the healing of patients through a holistic approach, the staff of a healing hospital (and not just the nurses) should be able to meet the emotional and spiritual needs of patients.
Mercy Gilbert does so by choosing their staff. Eberst (2008) states, “we choose our staff based not only on skill level but also based upon their gifts at delivering loving care. ” Creating a healing environment in the times of modern medicine may prove to be challenging but is doable. Mercy Gilbert is a great example of how a vision of healing has allowed many to benefit. Healing hospitals are fairly new concepts, which requires an open mind for acceptance. Change, even if it is for the better is often met with resistance.
The proper funds are required to create an ambience of relaxation and healing in a bustling and busy hospital. Education for all the will need to be provided to all the staff. All new employees at Mercy Gilbert go through orientation outlining the philosophy of Radical Loving Care (Eberst, 2008). Although it may be challenging to initially begin to incorporate a healing environment there are many benefits that come with such a support a environment. The staffs are united with a common goal, to support the spiritual healing of the patient.
The parable of the Good Samaritan, Gospel of Luke 10:29-37, tells a story of a traveler who is beaten. A priest, followed by a Levite pass the man but offer no help. A Samaritan comes and helps out the injured man (Parable of the Good Samaritan). The phrase “good Samaritan” is derived from this story. A Good Samaritan is someone who acts on the behalf of God, reacts to the needs of others, and simply helps a stranger. The parable ends with the Good Samaritan taking the injured man to a nearby inn so he may recover. Most hospitals focus on getting patients better and sending them on their way out.
Whereas healing hospitals not only focus on the bigger picture: the recovery and healing the mind, body, and soul as well. The Good Samaritan could have bandaged the man and went on but he took the time to take him to place that would allow him to recover and heal. Healing hospitals are consists of three components: a healing physical environment, the integration of work design and technology, and a culture of “Radical Loving Care. ” This combination allows for the focus of healing not only to be with illness but with spiritual health as well.