Service, Integrity, Safety, Trust, and Respect may be the core values established as guidelines for hospitals’ staff members. Without love it will not qualify as a Healing Hospital. The employees need to embrace the human spirit and incorporate genuine love, compassion, and selflessness in their daily encounters with the patients and other staff. There needs to be a continuous chain of caring from employee to patient, leadership to employee, and employee to employee. It first begins with leadership. Love can flourish in an environment that encourages it, but it takes commitment.
Eric Chapman, founding president and chief executive officer of the Baptist Healing Trust in Nashville, Tennessee, envisioned a healing hospital that wound not only tend to an individuals’ physical aspect of healing but to the spiritual component of the mind, body, soul connection (Chapman). This paper will describe the healing hospital paradigm and how spirituality influences it. In addition, the barriers to the implementation of the Healing Hospital Paradigm will be discussed as well as Biblical scriptures that support the concept of compassion, love, and faith as influential cornerstones to health.
Introduction of a Healing Hospital A Healing Hospital is a concept where a continuous chain of loving care is carried throughout the organization with kindness and skill from every caregiver (including leaders) to every patient and to one another (Chapman, 2003, p. 10). This climate of loving service incorporates loving care and clinical care in a new and exciting vision of clinical excellence. It does not abandon modern technology yet true excellence is built upon the most important principle of human experience- loving one another (Chapman, p. 11).
In order for the work of the Healing Hospital to be successful, at least three prerequisites must be met. First, there must be a deep commitment of the leadership and staff, along with training supplied supporting the concepts. Things will never change unless leadership changes and the staff members live out the mission of the organization. Secondly, there must be significant changes within the systems and structures, thus producing a radical change of loving care. The message to the staff is that of seriousness to support the concept of loving care.
Third, there needs to be an environment of respectful dialogue, teaching, and freedom for questions. Above all, at the center of the Healing Hospital is love (Chapman, p. 15). Biblical Reference Through His loving touch, Jesus healed many followers. The Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John account similar healings paralleled in the pages of the Scriptures. The story of The Cure of Peter’s Mother-In-Law; Jesus entered the house of Peter, and saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand, the fever left her, and she rose and waited on Him Matthew 8:14-15 (The New American Bible For Catholics).
Matthew 9:18-26, accounts the story of The Official’s Daughter and the Woman with a Hemorrhage; an official came forward, knelt down before Him, and said, “my daughter has just died. But come, and lay your hand on her, and she will live. ” Jesus arrived at the house and said, “the girl is not dead but sleeping”, when the crowd was removed Jesus took the girl by the hand and the little girl arose. A woman suffering hemorrhages for 12 years came up behind Him and touched the tassel on His cloak. Jesus turned around and saw her, and said “Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you.
” And from that hour the woman was cured. This story is also found in passages from Luke 9:40-56 (The New American Bible For Catholics). The Christian Gospel messages teach us compellingly that touch was important to Jesus; it was frequently used in healing and caring interactions with His followers, Loving, empathetic, compassionate touch is perhaps the most vital dimension of a nursing theology of caring (O’Brien, 2011, p. 16).
The rationale behind supporting the concept of the Healing Hospital lies deep in the soul of spirituality. Spirituality has many definitions but one that stands out is a theoretical framework in a journal article by Denise Miner-Williams PhD, RN, and that is the essence of being human. In providing spiritual nursing care, actions can be taken and words said that can touch the spirit of the person.
A personal kindness, appropriate touch, taking the effort to listen to what the patient is truly saying, offering to call a chaplain, appropriate sharing of oneself, or recognizing the importance of the significant visitors are all examples of care that can be given that addresses the spirituality, or enhances that which is meaningful or energy-giving to the patient (Miner-Williams, 2005, p.818).
The outcome is a connectedness with something greater than our selves. The recognition of an individual’s spirituality should be considered an integral part of nursing care. The use of spiritual assessment tools may be a beneficial guideline for delivering holistic care. However, these should not act as a replacement for a therapeutic and individualized nurse-patient relationship (Ellis & Narayanasamy, 2009, p. 890). Holistic care encompasses the balance between mind, body, and spirit. Spirituality in nursing can be traced back in history to pre-Christian cultures.
This is not a new concept but a resurgence of the ancient philosophy of combining spirituality needs of the ill patient to promote healing. Challenging the Barriers Several barriers are in the way of creating this holistic, loving environment. First, technology has advanced in the field of health care. It is clear that the importance of loving care has receded in direct proportion to the advance of technology and scientific learning. Business models and profits have taken the front line priority over patients care.
Staffing has been reduced, budgets adhered to, and the financial climate has been the first concern for many organizations. Administration first must make a commitment to radical change and enforce that atmosphere throughout the health system. The hospital admission process has been compared to imprisonment. Once registered, the individual is made to take off their clothes and don a demeaning gown totally open in the back, no less humiliating than the orange coveralls that prisoners wear. They are to place an identification bracelet on and sometimes be referred to as a number or procedure.
For example the staff may say, “the stroke in room 222”. Bureaucracy has created an assembly line mentality to be productive and accomplish tasks for a better outcome. They have neglected to see that they have swept love, compassion, and respect right out with the medical waste. Failed leadership also is a barrier but one that can be hurdled. The opportunity is there for leaders and physicians to set the agenda for what is discussed at organizations they serve.
This can begin a cascade of change through the culture of the organization (Chapman, 2003, p.41). Conclusion We must all strive to rediscover that deep caring spirit within each of us and have it come forth into our daily interactions. The Healing Hospital Paradigm can take hold if it is nurtured and cultivated with love. There will better patient outcomes, better performance by staff, and a sense of fulfillment that has been lost in health care today. References Chapman, E. (2003). Radical loving care Building the healing hospital in America. Nashville, Tennessee 37203:
Baptist Healing Hospital Trust. Ellis, H.K. , & Narayanasamy, A. (2009). An investigation into the role of spirituality in nursing. British Journal of Nursing, 18, 886-890. Miner-Williams, D. (2005). Making sense of spirituality Putting a puzzle together making spirituality meaningful for nursing using an evolving theoretical framework. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 15, 811-821. Retrieved from doi:10. 1111/j. 1365-2702. 2006. 01351. x O’Brien, M. E. (2011). Spirituality in nursing Standing on holy ground (4th ed. ). Sudbury, MA 01776: Jones & Bartlett Learning.