Faith Diversity and Healthcare Providers

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Faith Diversity and Healthcare Providers
Tonya L Henson
Grand Canyon University
HLT 310V
M. Pasqua
February 12, 2011

The United States (U.S.) has always been the melting pot of the world, resulting in a diverse spiritual community. Christianity is still the predominant religion, but a recent survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life details the shifts taking place in the U.S. According to the study, 28 percent of American adults have left the faith of their upbringing for another religion, or no religion at all. The number of people that claim no affiliation with any particular faith is rising, and the number of people practicing non-Christian religions is increasing (Pew Forum 2010).

For the bedside nurse, this means that not only cultural, but faith or religious based sensitivity is required. While those of the same faith or religions may have much in common, it is important to keep in mind that they also have very unique and personal beliefs. Nurses don’t require religious training to meet the spiritual needs of their patients and families, but a personal assessment of their own spiritual beliefs is fundamental (O’Brien 2003).

For the purposes of this assignment two methods of retrieving information were used. A personal interview was conducted with a friend. Due to lack of response to my two other chosen interviewees, my questions were posted on two religious forum sites, with many interesting responses. I have chosen to include responses from Tsalegi, Muslim and Atheists. Contrasting the Belief Systems

Tsalegi, or Cherokee, is not only a belief system, but also a culture and a way of life. This Native American belief system is not comprised of plural Gods, as many believe. The Tsalegi revere nature, but do not worship it. They also believe in a Creator, which has many names within their culture and belief system. They also believe that their Creator has many messengers or spirit helpers. These spirits or messengers may live in...
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