A healing hospital is a health care institution, which focuses on providing health care to patients from a point of view of love (Ebrest, 2008). Healing hospitals believe in the traditional concept of healing that focuses on providing love to a patient, as the basic component of the healing, process (Ebrest, 2008). A healing hospital is different normal hospital. A normal hospital focuses on providing health care to patients mainly through pharmacotherapy, which entails ensuring recovery of a patient through medication. On the other hand, healing hospital provides health care to patients through application of a healing model that entails creating a risk free environment for the patient, and ensuring that the patient is surrounded with love.
The focal point of the paradigm of healing hospital is elimination of environmental factors, which may contribute directly or indirectly, to slow or no recovery of a patient from an ailment (Ebrest, 2008). The concept of healing hospital paradigm is based on the belief that exposure to unfriendly environment may cause stress to a patient, or pose health risks to a patient. Moreover, such an environment poses healthy risks not only to the patients, but also to the visitors visiting either the patient or the hospital. The paradigm of the healing hospital ensures that the patient is provided with maximum care, while maintaining his/her privacy and human dignity (Ebrest, 2008). For this reason, the healing hospital paradigm not only focuses on healing the ailment suffered by the patient, but also focuses on providing holist cure to the patient. This includes addressing the patient’s emotional, spiritual, social, and cognitive concerns.
The components of a healing hospital are included in the paradigm of healing hospital. These include a healing physical environment, a culture of radical loving care, and the combination of work design and technology (The Golden Thread of Compassionate Care Defined, 2011). The component of healing physical environment is concerned with provision of clean, healthy, and beautiful surroundings for the patients and their family members. A healing hospital ensures that the patients’ rooms are tidy, neat, well aerated, and aesthetically pleasing. This assists in reducing stress levels in patients and their family members, and assisting patients and their family members, to cope with illnesses and any associated stress (The Golden Thread of Compassionate Care Defined, 2011). This component also focuses on providing stress free environment to the caregivers, to enable them deliver utmost care to the patients, and engage with the patients’ family members, freely.
From a spiritual point of view, the component of healing physical environment upholds the Christians’ believe that human beings are equal, and they should be treated with dignity regardless of their status (The Compassionate Care Initiative, 2010). Therefore, healing hospitals uphold the dignity of human beings by ensuring that patients are provided with serene environment for recovery, and the caregivers treat them with dignity. Mercy Gilbert Medical Center, demonstrates this component by providing a quiet environment in the hospital, which supports healing for patients, and a calmer environment, which supports stress free environment for physicians and other medical staff.
The combination of work design and technology, entails using medical care personnel who possess personalities that are vital in providing holist care to a patient. The healing hospital paradigm requires that a caregiver should have a servant’s heart (Ebrest, 2008). That is, he/she should have the ability to exercise patience while serving others, and should be willing to take an extra step in ensuring that the patients’ needs are met. A healing hospital provides the most advanced technology to its personnel, to enable them serve the patients effectively and efficiently while observing their privacy (The Compassionate Care Initiative, 2010).
The culture of radical loving and care component involves providing holistic care to patients. This component is very important in a healing hospital since it forms the basis for establishment of healing hospitals. Caregivers are supposed to show compassion for the patients (Ebrest, 2008). Moreover, the paradigm of the healing hospital provides that, all hospital members should show compassion towards each other, and above all, to oneself (The Compassionate Care Initiative, 2010). This component is found in Jesus’ teachings about the Ten Commandments. Jesus taught that the second greatest commandment is to love one’s neighbor as one loves him/herself. Healing hospitals uphold love for all people regardless of their seniority, or medical conditions.
In my own opinion, the components of the paradigm of healing hospital, as well as the concepts of a healing hospital are based on Jesus' teachings about love, and His teachings in the parable of the Good Samaritan. In the book of Matthew, Jesus taught that we should love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Jesus implied that, love is the foundation of goodness for all human beings on earth. Therefore, by exercising love for all, healing hospitals are able to achieve goodness for the patients, their family members, the caregivers, and hence goodness for the whole society. In His parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus taught that, we should learn to serve others with compassionate hearts. Based on the teachings of this parable, caregivers, and other hospital staff in healing hospitals are able to provide holistic care to the patients without paying attention to the amount of effort they apply in providing that care. The spiritual approach of providing care enables caregivers at healing hospitals serve their patients diligently and heartily.
However, providing holistic health care to patients can be challenging for a healing hospital. Over the decades, health care institutions have been experiencing problems of lack of enough caregivers. One of the reasons for this problem is low compensation packages offered to people who engage in providing care to patients. For this reason, a healing hospital may not be in a position to meet its objectives due to lack of enough caregivers. For a healing hospital to attract enough caregivers, it should be ready to part with big amounts of money in form of caregivers’ compensation. This indicates that people take into account the financial benefits they receive for their services. Instead of upholding the teachings of Jesus in the parable of the Good Samaritan, people uphold the monetary value of their services to humanity. Therefore, a healing hospital, which is not financially established, may be unable to provide holistic care due to lack of caregivers who are willing to offer their services in return for a small compensation package.
Moreover, the technological environment in which health care institutions operate is very complex and expensive. A hospital requires large financial outlays to enable it switch between and among various technologies of health care provision. Therefore, a healing hospital may be unable to obtain a balance between work design and technology, as one of the components of the paradigm of healing hospitals, if it is not financially stable.
A healing hospital uses the traditional concept of healing when providing care to patients: love. The paradigm of healing hospital provides that the physical environment surrounding the patients should be favorable for enhanced recovery from illnesses, effective and efficient care should be provided to patients through a combination of work design and technology, and above all, caregivers should adapt a culture of radical loving care to the patients, to other staff members, and to themselves. Provision of health care, based on the paradigm of healing hospital, can be very effective, not only in addressing the medical and health needs of the patients, but also in addressing the spiritual needs of the entire society.