Health care providers encounter and care for a diverse population of patients. When caring for these patients, providers must be properly prepared to care for not only for their cultural needs but also for their spiritual/faith needs. Nurses must have a basic yet broad knowledge of cultural and spiritual needs of patients whether in the hospital setting, clinic setting, or physician’s office. This document will explore three different faiths and compare them to Christianity and the author’s own faith/spirituality. The three faiths being explored and compared are Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Basic knowledge of each one of these culture’s preferences for medical care, prayer/meditation, diet, view of illness, and view of death will permit the health care provider to provide care that is culturally congruent. Providing patient care that is culturally congruent, will help promote patient healing, wellness, and compliance if the patient feels they are being not only medically cared for but spiritually nurtured.
Health Care Provider and Faith Diversity
Health care providers encounter and care for patients from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds. Whether in the hospital, clinic, or physician office setting health care providers must be aware and prepared to address and care for patients and families that are not only of varied cultures but religions as well. In a country where such a variety of cultures and religions exists, health care providers must be prepared to provide the best quality care which includes culturally and spiritually sensitive care. A nursing theory which was created to address this diversity, is the Transcultural Nursing Theory also known as Culture Care Diversity and Universality Theory. Madeline Leininger was a nursing theorist who began her nursing career by first earning a registered nurse diploma followed by a Baccalaureate degree in nursing, a Master of Science degree in psychiatric and mental health nursing, and a Doctorate in cultural and social anthropology (Sitzman & Eichelberger, 2011). Through Leininger’s work experience both as a nurse and anthropologist, Leininger recognized that there was an absence of knowledge and practice of culturally diverse care. She knew that nursing needed to gain knowledge about culturally diverse care which would help nurses understand the modifications needed in care of patients to support compliance, wellness, and healing (Sitzman & Eichelberger, 2011). Leininger developed the Transcultural Nursing Theory and also conceived the term, culturally congruent care, which is the main objective of transcultural nursing (Sitzman & Eichelberger, 2011). Transcultural nursing seeks to provide culturally congruent care with respect to culture, values, and beliefs which includes spirituality and religion. Thirty to forty years ago, patient care was approached by ensuring to apply the proper medical science to the disease (Loma Linda University Health System, n.d.). In today’s society however, it is well known that spirituality plays an important role to health outcomes. For this reason, health care providers must be able to provide care that is culturally competent and spiritually nurturing (Loma Linda University Health System, n.d.). For the purpose of this assignment, three different faiths were explored for their beliefs and preferences when receiving health care services. In addition to exploring the three selected faiths, they will also be compared to Christianity and the author’s own faith/spirituality. The three selected faiths are Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jehovah’s Witnesses. When caring for members of these three faiths or any other faith, the nurse must exhibit care that is culturally sensitive by demonstrating respect for differences in religion, respect for patient individuality, remain open minded, don’t assume anything, ask questions, and be actively aware of non-verbal and verbal responses from the client...
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