As stated by Erie Chapman “healing hospitals” are centers of love characterized by a myriad of wonderful encounters, many small and a few large (2011). This paradigm of such a caring concept focuses on removing stressors for patients, families and caregivers from the clinical environment. These stressors inhibit healing but are inherent to this milieu.
Realizing that the hospital environment is generally thought of as a place for the diagnosing and the treating of ailments and injuries of the patient, the intrinsic factor of relieving such stressful factors as painful treatments and loss of personal freedom and worth related to prolonged hospitalization and expense of complicated procedures are minimized by recognizing the worth of touching the mind, body and spirit and maintaining comprehensive care through attention to dignity and privacy.
The emergence of this concept aims to enhance the overall well-being of the patients’ and their families’ cognitive, emotional and spiritual concerns (Milstein, 2005). Overcoming the barriers that exist in the arena of the hospital setting is the underpinning of the paradigm of the “healing hospital”. This paper will examine all aspects of the “caring environment” through the connection with the spiritual enlightenment mixed with the clinical care of the patients, families and caregivers.
Components of a Healing Hospital The “healing hospital” as discussed in Radical Loving Care is not made of just walls, windows and mortar but exudes the culture of love and caring (Chapman, 2011). The three fundamental components of this hospital are a healing physical environment, the integration of work design and technology and the culture of Radical Loving Care. When these components intertwine with the framework of the Golden Thread, they blend to create an environment hat strikes balance between technology and the human spirit as it connects both healers and patients (The healing hospital, 2011). A Healing Physical Environment The healing environment begs the inclusion of all five senses, physical stressors, noise and panic, aesthetic qualities and physical environment. In this arena loving and compassionate care can engage the patient, family and staff in a less distracted environment which gives opportunity for the healing to become a spiritual practice (Watson, n. d. ). Integrating Work Design and Technology
The second key component integrates the work design so that the privacy and access to security of patients is ensured. The highest quality equipment and information systems enhance the ability of the physician and other health care professionals to deliver timely diagnoses and treatments. The patient-centered rooms create and incorporate a gentle environment of high technology focused on the total education, comfort and emotional care by including a system that delivers information as well as music, art and entertainment.
A Culture of Radical Loving Care The third and most critical component is embracing the culture of Radical Loving Care espoused by Erie Chapman (2011). In the New King James Version Bible (NKJV), John 13: 34 – 35 recants the admonition of Jesus to his disciples regarding a new commandment; “A new command I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have loved one another. ”
The example of loving services that Jesus admonished the disciples is the loving service symbolized by the imagery of the Golden Thread. First by creating a positive environment of healing; second by meshing the love and need in the “sacred encounter” between caregiver and patient; and lastly the greatest expression of love, the “servant’s heart” (Chapman, 2011). When all are interwoven the “loving care and the clinical care” become the true expression of “healing care” which represents the true vision of the “healing hospital (Chapman, 2011).
Challenges and Complexities of the Healing Hospital The Healing Hospital is the light at the end of our health care gloomy tunnel. However there are still hurdles to overcome as the characteristics of a healing hospital meet head long with the complexities of traditional modern health care. The five influences stated in Radical Loving Care present refutable challenges when addressed in light of Mr. Chapman’s healing concept. Advancing medical technology has so dominated the health care profession that the roots of healing have been pushed aside.
By marrying “loving care” with technology patient satisfaction will increase. In turn the business factors such as market share and profitability can also be set to rest by the more positive outcomes resulting from the philosophy of healing the body, mind and spirit through the development of the “servant’s heart”. Bureaucracy involves layers of unnecessary as well as unfeeling tasks that preempt timely care, restrictive patient environments and the stripping away of personal attention by relegating patients to number and diagnosis without names.
Understanding the “loving care” commitment is not just lip service but reality, there is no room for the cynicism of those who do not conform to the philosophy. The staff working in this environment as well as the leadership must be totally committed to promoting healing as a spiritual, emotional and physical experience between patients, families and caregivers. Finally leadership is essential to the health and well-being of those in their charge the staff.
The too must display the “servant’s heart” and an active participant in the “sacred encounter”. They must be willing to accept the role of servant leadership and dare to strive to Lead Like Jesus (O’Brien, 2011). Biblical Passage In the book of Acts 9:36-42 NKJV, the story of Tabitha also known as Dorcas, a disciple of Jesus, became sick and died. Because of her great faith and love for the poor and needy in her community of Joppa, her friends sent for the apostle Peter. Peter came and prayed over her and she was restored to life.
God saw fit to restore her to life because of her servant’s heart and her love, obedience and willingness to share all that she had with others. Being so loved by the family of believers, when they prayed for a miracle, God granted it. This passage certainly exemplifies the concepts of Radical Loving Care, faith, hope and love. I Corinthians 13:13 NKJV affirms “And now abides faith, hope, love these three; but the greatest of these is love. ” Conclusion The “Healing Hospital” is a radical concept in patient-centered care in a newly emerging health care environment.
With the impending changes at all levels of health care, the enhancement of patient outcomes when treated in a holistic environment will become more sought after and implemented. With that said, the healing hospital paradigm of compassionate radical love will forge a new path in the clinical arena so that the hope, coping strategies and spirituality practiced will become the bench mark of health care regardless of whether in a secular or religious environment. The opportunity of showing brotherly love will challenge the health care professional to share God’s love to all they encounter.
Chapman, E. (2011). Radical loving care: Building the healing hospital in America. Nashville, TN: Eric Chapman Foundation. Milstein, J. (2005). A paradigm of integrative care: Healing with couring throughout life, “being with” and “doing to”. Journal of Perinatology, 25, 563 – 568. doi: 10.1038/sj.jp7211358 O’Brien, M. E. (2011). Spirituality in nursing: Standing on holy ground (Fourth Edition ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning. The golden thread of compassionate care defined: The healing hospital. (2011). Retrieved May 11, 2011, from http://www.mercygilbert.org/Patients_And Visitors/189191 Watson, J. (n.d). Care for the journey: The caring moment. Retrieved from May 12, 2011, from http://www.companionarts.org/care2Jean.htm