Grand Canyon University
September 17, 2012
In the health care field an understanding of an array of religions is needed to provide care an adequate standard of care to patients. In the religious beliefs of Christianity, Scientology, and Sikhism there is great diversity in their practices; however, there is a uniting factor in love. Though a religious view of a provider may be different from the patients the provider will still deliver a standard of care both physical and spiritual care that will allow for healing in both dimensions. On the other hand, there may be small issues that I provider may find challenging in treating a patient when their own beliefs vary from the patients.
It is common for health care students to consider taking care of patients with different religious beliefs; however, it is not so common for them to consider how a healthcare provider’s religious beliefs may affect their standard of care. It is rare for individuals to take the time or even care to find out about religions outside of their own. “One of the most religious countries [The United States] on earth is also a nation of religious illiterates.”(Prothero, 2007, p.2) If they do, it may be just the basics or hearsay about the religion, such as the theistic view, and a few basic principles. Take into consideration how the care provided by a Christian, a Sikh, or a Scientologist may vary. The latter two religions most have heard of but may not know very much about what their beliefs actually entail and how it would affect a practicing individual’s standard of care. Let’s first look at the Christian’s view of care. Following the teachings of Jesus Christ, a Christian in health care would provide compassion, love, kindness, and acceptance. “A healing hospital is about loving service to others.”(Chapman, 2003, p.4) In showing unconditional love there is a sense of peace and respect they give to the patient. It is a belief that we are all children of God; we are all tied to together in this great way. From this perspective then anyone who enters the life of a Christian should be treated as family, giving great care and concern for all aspects of their well-being, spiritual and physical. Taking care of an individual means more to the Christian; it means more than the physical needs but the needs of the spirit as well. Christians believe that the human soul needs care just as much and the body, and the Christian healthcare provider will strive to be a support system for every person, even if it just a friendly smile while passing someone in the hall. Next, looking at care from the perspective of a Scientologist, a modern religious philosophy, involves an understanding of their beliefs. They believe people are not their body or their mind but they are a soul or a thetan. The thetan is inherent good but can be lead astray when the truth about existence is not realized. Once an individual comes to realizations about their immortality, their connection to the Universe and the Creator they are on the path to salvation by freeing the inherent good of the thetan, they are self reliant for salvation. An interesting belief that would be an asset as clinical care provider is trinity of Affinity, Reality and Communication. This draws the idea that the three of these bring understanding and happiness in personal relationships. Affinity, the degree of liking or affection, reality, the agreement on things or concepts, and Communication, the exchange of ideas, perceptions or objects, are intertwined so that being skillful in one aspect improves another and as you master all three relationships with people and the Universe improve. (Robinson & Buttnor, 1997) This outlook to improve happiness and understanding would benefit a clinical setting and they would be...