The challenges of creating a healing environment and the components of healing hospitals When a new hospital is being planned and built, the main focus is based on the number of beds it will house, the location of each department, how many it will employ and the main item is cost of the project but a healing environment is based on helping the patients feel safe, comfortable and stress free. These hospitals will deal with components or needs which include love, meaning in life, forgiveness and hope.
Patients and families can feel less stressed if they know they are taken care of by dedicated employees and be assured that their hospital encounter will be one of smiles, loving service, and competent clinical care. Care should involve a holistic approach addressing the patients and family cognitive, emotional and spiritual concerns and not only based on the physical aspects. Creating a healing environment does involve some challenges and overcoming those barriers is essential to the growth of the hospital.
The Healing Hospital concept embraces three key components discussed below; The healing physical environment: A calm and supportive environment can help promote a healing process that a patient requires during their hospital stay. Hospitals need to be more than just a place of physical care it should be suffused with loving care by all caregivers practiced in a continuous chain to support the Golden Thread of compassionate care. This concept takes into consideration not only how we care for patients but also how the staffs engage with patient’s families and caregivers.
By promoting and creating this loving compassionate and aesthetical pleasing environment, it creates an environment whereby caregivers can support patients and families cope with stress and illness. Promoting a quiet and calm environment promotes faster healing. For example Mercy Gilbert Medical Center in Arizona promotes a quiet environment that supports healing for patient and also provides a calm stress free environment or its caregivers. This helps patients feel safe and comfortable that reminds staffs why they chose healthcare as a line of profession.
All hallways are carpeted, the use of beepers by care givers only during emergencies and their nurses uses wireless phone for communication. Healing culture is what sets this hospital apart. A culture of Radical Loving Care: The healing Hospital as described in Radical Loving Care is not built of just walls, windows and mortar but includes the culture of love and caring (Chapman 2006). A healing hospital should incorporate a culture of compassionate care and the people committed to that philosophy. Erie Chapman refers to Healing Hospitals as “embracing a culture of Radical loving Care.
” This promotes the healing of patients through a holistic approach that meets not only the patient’s physical needs but also their spiritual and emotional needs. Mercy Gilbert Medical Center for example has developed a strong culture of compassionate care taking healthcare workers back to their roots as it reminds them of their healthcare roots. The integration of work design and technology: A healing Hospital offers technical advancements and is able to integrate the technology into a caring environment delivered by a compassionate staff.
The integration of work design and technology to enable staffs work more efficiently will help to provide additional privacy and security for patients and the use of technology to promote the healing environment. For example Mercy Gilbert Hospital was designed with a separate “back of house” bank of elevators for staff to navigate through the hospital and for patients transfer providing privacy and security. This will prevent patient during transport meeting with their friends, neighbors in the elevators.
Technology advanced equipment allows this Hospital also to expedite process and results. The patients take advantage of the latest digital technology in radiology, pulmonary testing and cardiology. Physicians are able to access test results from their office which expedites decision making and treatment. Utilizing these advanced technology assist in providing a healing environment. Hospitals that accept the task of establishing a healing hospital approach are faced with several challenges as the influence constantly tests the mission of loving care discussed below.
Technology and prescription drugs: In today’s hospital environment the main focus is centered on technology, medications and treating a diagnosis. The rousing advances of medical technology and drugs have proceeded so quickly that have become fascinated by the possibilities we have turn to look at technology as if somehow God were contained in robotics and MRI’s instead of within the human soul. In in Nouwen’s words, technology has “depersonalized the interpersonal aspects of the healing professions.
” These new technology and drugs are becoming so dominant that we are losing sight of other healing essentials such as the loving care approach and the idea that body, mind and spirit are unified. Hospitals are now ranked priority based on new technology and research and not much focus on patient satisfaction. The need of drugs and technology needs to be balance by recognizing the role of loving care for hospitalized patients. Business factors: The back door behind healthcare is no more loving care but geared towards profits and market share as Millions of dollars have been diverted away from direct patient care.
This has frustrated the nurturing of the concept of love in patient care. It’s up to the healthcare leaders to reawaken the loving spirit of the caregivers by providing work environment that nourish spirit instead of frustration. Bureaucracy: Some common characteristics of bureaucracies is the assembly line nature of many of the jobs. Hospitals employees are not only asked to do repetitive work but to do it as robot rather than humans. This also affects the loving care environment as caregivers become frustrated and bored.
Cynicism: People become cynics because they do not want to go through the pain of being tricked. People carry this on that they doubt everything leading to the cynic of deaf to the occasional person who is genuinely loving and caring. Many trained professionals are skeptical about the power of love in the patient process Failed leadership: Doctors and CEO’s have a responsibility to advance compassionate care and to ensure that it’s offered on the front lines. The decline of the role of loving care in hospitals over the past half-century has been as a failure of hospital leadership.
Health care leaders and physicians need to guide the hospital towards being home for the ill not simply of technology. There is the need for every caregiver to rediscover the caring angel in each of us and to restore that angel to its place on the throne of healthcare and for leaders to lift up the concept of the servant’s heart and rediscover the critical importance of the interaction of love with need in meaningful sacred encounters. When caregivers put their trust in God’s guidance and healing He blesses their hands and no error is committed in their work.
Mathew 8:2-4 Jesus reached out his hand and touched a man who had skin diseases and was healed immediately. This passage explains how touch is necessary in healing as described in the concepts of a Healing Hospital. When Jesus cleansed lepers, He not only relieved their physical sufferings but also perform healings of the souls. To summarize the concepts and the challenges of creating a healing environment, all caregivers and the leaders must perform a positive experience that will create a more harmonious work environment suited in allowing healing and total wellness.