Healing Hospital: A Daring Paradigm.

Healing Hospital: A Daring Paradigm.

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4 New King James Version). These are daring words taken from the Holy Bible to heal our sufferings. Are these words enough for an ill individual who is hospitalized? These spiritual words are certainly encouraging for healing to occur but this is only one aspect for the hospitalized client to recover fully. This paper will dare to look at all aspects of a healing hospital and its relationship to spirituality, the challenges of developing a healing hospital, and the author’s perspective on how the healing hospital paradigm reflects her own view of caregiving. Healing Hospital: A Daring Paradigm.

Components of Healing Hospitals

Spirituality and prayers are probably not as important as they have been for many in this new era of high tech society that we live in today. Many people and many organizations are turning to technology to live. Can we function without our smartphones these days? Our high tech world really transformed us to forget the simple things in life like compassion. Healing Hospital: A Daring Paradigm. Today, many organizations like a hospital also have transformed its ways in giving the best technological tests and innovative research possible for their patients. Hospitals are performing all kinds of tests to treat the patient’s symptoms and not really looking at the patient. Should they look deeply at the patient as a whole individual rather than their symptoms? In the economy that we live in today, everyone is struggling to get to the top and many health organizations also moved into the direction of a business-minded era.  An approach has been started to change these ways in the hospital to not only focusing on the physical aspect of an individual but also the spiritual aspect. This was when the concept of a healing hospital was developed. In 2008, The Baptist Healing Trust announced and declared Mercy Gilbert Medical Center in Gilbert, Arizona (CHW) as the #1 healing hospital in the nation and Mercy’s CEO, Laurie Eberst was named Healing Hospital CEO of the Year (Chapman, 2008). Mercy Gilbert’s mission statement clearly defines a healing aspect to their organization,

to provide compassionate, quality of health care to our community, while our technology and medical expertise remain on the forefront of innovation, our role as a caring, dedicated member of this community remains the same. We will always be there when you need us most. (Mercy Gilbert Medical Center, 2013). Healing Hospital: A Daring Paradigm.

The Healing Trust implanted that the healing hospital has three components to it (Eberst, 2008). According to Eberst (2008), these include a healing physical environment, the integration of work design and technology and lastly, a culture of “Radical Loving Care.”

A Healing Physical Environment

            The value of a healing environment is just as important as the healing process. It has been taught to us that sleep and rest are crucial elements for patients to heal and recover. It is when you sleep that your body repairs the most (Eberst, 2008). Therefore, emphasis should be taken to the surroundings of an ill client. A quiet environment promotes efficient healing and nourishes one’s spirit. A health care professional is obligated to promote a healing environment for our patients by reducing noise levels, keeping our patients room clean and kept, and motivating soothing and calming voices. The author’s philosophy of caregiving is dedication to our patients and their surroundings. The area where patients attempt to heal from their sickness should be a spiritual one. For some being alone is their way of healing but for others listening to their concerns and worries may encourage them and to give hope. Nurses are in the frontline for creating a healing environment because of our proximity to our patients.

Integration of Work Design and Technology

            Another area of a Healing Hospital focuses on integration of work design and technology. Technology cannot be removed today with all the new advances in the healthcare world. A Healing Hospital incorporates its technologies well into patient care that facilitates a healing environment and promotes quality spiritual care (Eberst, 2008). A form of integration utilized by Mercy Gilbert Medical Center was having a secluded and private elevator for transport for patients separate from staff and visitors. This design helps lessen worries about running into people the patients may know and protects privacy and confidentiality. It is important to know that a hospital has their advanced technologies to treat patients but it is more important for hospitals to commit to giving compassionate treatments for all. For this commitment to take place, the team of healthcare workers should be not only well trained in their skills but also should have an inner passion in helping others.

“Radical Loving Care”

            The last, but certainly not the least component of a Healing Hospital is the concept of “Radical Loving Care.” This essential part is the foundation in creating a Healing Hospital. This idea of “Radical Loving Care” was developed by Erie Chapmen. This phenomenon allows individuals caring for others to give the most compassionate loving care possible. If the hospital has great paintings, beautiful floorings, breathtaking gardens, advanced technologies but lacks the simplest form of compassionate care from its staff, what good of a hospital is it (Eberst, 2008)?  It certainly would not be a Healing Hospital. A hospital that is comprised with loving passion in helping others from doctors to environmental service workers would be a great achievement. These small components of care are truly the definition of treatment. The courtesy of showing respect by lessoning the noise levels at nurse’s station, by not confronting but talking appropriately, by diverting your routine for the benefit of our patients are simple things that the author wishes to see in the organization where she works. The author’s philosophy is to be part of a Healing Hospital. Healing Hospital: A Daring Paradigm.


Challenges and Barriers in Creating a Healing Hospital

            There are numerous challenges that take place in creating a Healing Hospital; one of the major being financial concerns. To produce a healing environment will require plenty of money for technology, recruitment, training, and other facilities. With economy being very slim, every organization is looking for ways to cut cost and thus, many organizations may not pursue such a huge project. This is a challenge that many health administrators may not want to face. Another challenge would be to transform all the staff to a spiritual, healing mode. This would take excess amount of training and is not an easy task to accomplish especially if it is a larger hospital. Even with training, it is never possible to transform a staff to be compassionate when they don’t have it in them internally. This would be a challenge that cannot be ignored. To give quality efficient care and to promote a caring environment, a relationship-based care must occur (Woolley, Perkins, Laird, Palmer, Schitter, Tarter, George, Atkinson, Mckinney, Woolsey, 2012). Since the concept of a Healing Hospital is not yet widely acceptable, legal challenges can also take place. The concept of treating patients in spiritual aspect may not be understood by many and thus, legal affairs can squirm in. These differences in opinion may jeopardize the image of the hospital. Healing Hospital: A Daring Paradigm.

Biblical Aspects of a Healing Hospital

Spirituality is the key foundation in building a healing environment for a Healing Hospital. Along with modern medicine, a sense of spiritual pride and warmth can promote healing. The “Radical Loving Care” takes preference over any modern technology. The author believes loving care and compassion for others is what truly defines spirituality. Healing Hospital: A Daring Paradigm. Having inner faith and hope with the Higher Power enables many to display faster healing powers. As a Catholic, the author is dedicated in worshiping God and believes in his healing powers. The author understands the importance of promoting a healing environment for worship can take place. The quietness and faith enhances the process of healing. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8 New King James Version). To be saved in life and in illness, the Higher Power’s presence is needed. The passage above portrays to all that through faith and hope anything is possible.

The concept of the Healing Hospital is to provide care as a whole. It focuses on seeing and treating the patient as a whole rather than just their symptoms. Health care professionals should display “Radical Loving Care,” a healing physical environment, and also must integrate work design and technology to be part of a Healing Hospital. There can be hurdles down the road to get to the Healing Hospital, but it is a daring paradigm that we should all take. Healing Hospital: A Daring Paradigm.