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Faith Diversities in Health Care

  • Date Submitted: 03/13/2011 10:25 PM
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Faith Diversities in Health Care
Nathalie Conti
HLT310V - Foundations of Spirituality in Health Care
Grand Canyon University
February 27th, 2011

This paper is an introduction to concepts of cultural and religious tolerance in the western health care field with an emphasis on the holistic approach, incorporating mind, body and spirituality. It uses Christianity as a baseline for cultural and spiritual comparison and contrasts against Buddhism, Hinduism and Judaism. Healthcare environment, personal boundaries, meditation and death are each discussed briefly in context of cultural and religious perspectives. For Buddhism, concepts of clarity, balance and meditation as well as sickness as inertia of the mind and pain as a misconception are discussed. For Hinduism, concepts of Karma, cleanliness, right-left hand significance, and privacy boundaries are discussed. Death, reincarnation and the resultant dietary implications are touched upon for both the former. For Judaism, privacy, Sabbath and religious observations, religion’s impact on diet and observances of death are discussed. In conclusion, it is seen that special care must be taken to avoid gross cultural faux pas, the obvious result of cultural and religious ignorance. For complete restoration of the whole, respect of a person’s beliefs and dignity must be observed by the health care worker; else the resulting spiritual imbalance will be detrimental to their healing process.

Faith Diversities in Health Care
      Health care professionals, including nurses, are required to interact with people from a plethora of religious and cultural backgrounds. Most believe that patients should be addressed in a holistic manner - mind, body and spirit - and that full health can only be restored when spiritual well-being is taken into consideration. Although it is easier to understand individuals who share a common religious belief, it is necessary to overcome such cultural barriers and that nurses...


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