Healing Hospitals

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The existence of healing hospitals is not a new ideology. “Historically, hospitals were often founded and funded by religious orders” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2014). Hospitals of yesteryear were built on the premise of healing and fulfilled several of the requirements of institutions established for healing. As early as 4000 B. C. many religions identified and associated some of their deities with healing powers. However, the modern concept of hospitals dates from 331 C E, when Roman emperor, Constantine the Great, converted to Christianity and abolished all pagan hospitals, thus creating the opportunity for a new foundation of healing arts hospitals grounded on Christianity. Prior to this event, the sick person was isolated from his/her community. The Christian tradition stressed the close relationship of the sick to the members of the community, who were obligated to provide the care. This lead to the ideology that sickness was a concern and obligation of the Christian Church (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2014).  Spiritual or compassionate care involves serving the whole person in all the dimension we use to describe the essence of our being, the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual self and how we establish relationship with individuals with whom we come in contact. Such service is inherently spiritual acts. As stated by Woolley et al.(2012), using the six dimensions model of the relationship-based care is highly essential to the quality of patient care. The implementation of this model assist health care agencies to create caring, healing environments for the patients and staff especially those on the frontline. Woolley et al. (2012), states “the Relationship-Based Care Model (RBCM) is patient and family centered, surrounded by a framework of leadership, teamwork, professional nursing practice, patient care delivery, resource-driven practice, and outcomes measurement” (p.179).

The significant relationships the model speaks to are the relationships with the patient and family, relationship with self and, the relationship with colleagues. Other health care facilities are seeking to design healing environment. Eberst (2008), describes a healing organization as one that promotes the patient feeling of safety, comfort, and also serves as a reminder to the health care team why they chose to be in health care. This author further explains that the “healing facility” must demonstrate compassion and loving kindness while at the same time being artistically appealing to the senses. The agency must also possess the ability to assist the patients and families manage the stressors of being sick and as such must be easily noticeable.  Spiritual or compassionate care involves serving the whole person. Daring to be different comes with a price in today’s culture. Religiosity and healing are not promoted in present day health care environment in the United States. Health care organizations, like any business is fraught with possibilities for failures and barriers for changing or implementing fundamentally different ideas instead of safely keeping it business as usual as in profit-driven and service-oriented. Implementing a healing or relationship- based environment in today’s hospital setting can be a challenging undertaking. One of the most noted barrier is cost-related changes. Can the hospital afford to do this or more appropriately how can the administration not afford to make this change? Rolland (2011), states, “if a patient expresses an interest in praying before entering the operation room, the nurse offers a prayer for the patient’s safety, comfort and healing” (p.1). This took place on the Africa Mercy which is a floating hospital where professionals donate their time and talent in the service of people who cannot afford life-saving/changing surgeries.

On terra firma, stateside this could conceivably be...
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