Many nations are characterized by different ethnic groups. Such groups have unique cultural values, social norms, and religious practices. This scenario creates a sense of diversity. Lum (2013) believes that “diversity might affect the provision of culturally-competent health care” (p. 25). Many ethnic minorities tend to get inadequate medical support from their caregivers. The level of discrimination increases when “healthcare providers target minority populations” (Lum, 2013, p. 256). Modern sociologists and scholars encourage the caregiver to provide culturally-competent health support to their patients. Medical practitioners can achieve this goal by focusing on the cultural, religious, and social values of their patients. Healthcare providers are required to support the health needs of patients from different religious backgrounds. That being the case, such caregivers should accept the religious positions of their patients. This paper presents a comparative analysis of two faith philosophies towards the delivery of quality healthcare. The targeted philosophies include Christianity and Buddhism.
Caregivers should possess the best competencies in order to support the health demands of diverse populations. Some caregivers are required to provide competent care to patients from different religious groups (Lum, 2013). This knowledge will make it easier for them to provide adequate healthcare. Christians have unique worldviews and beliefs. Such beliefs influence the healing processes of different patients.
Christians have specific worldviews that dictate their religious practices. They also believe in a world that was created by God. According to them, God is the prime reality. Many Christians will promote the best practices to fulfill God’s commandments. Christians also believe strongly that the world around them was created by a Supreme God (Bednarz, Schim, & Doorenbos, 2010). This fact “dictates their naturalistic relationship with Mother Nature” (Lum, 2013, p. 32). Christians argue that human beings were created by God. Such creatures possess unique instincts and souls. Many believers also treat death as a mandatory natural process. Christians “expect to be resurrected after death” (Betancourt, Green, & Carrillo, 2002, p. 7). The holy ones will eventually see God’s kingdom. They will lead a beautiful life after the resurrection. This knowledge explains why Christians should not fear death.
According to Christians, human beings carry the image of a powerful God. It is agreeable that “Christians believe that human beings are superior to the other creatures” (Bednarz et al., 2010, p. 257). They have God’s grace and understanding. God is also the source of knowledge for many Christians. The respect and knowledge of God dictate what is bad and good. God’s guidance and commandments encourage Christians to focus on the best religious goals. Such commandments dictate what should be regarded as bad. The sole meaning of human history is to prepare humanity for a new Kingdom. This new kingdom will be characterized by righteousness and happiness (Wilson-Stronks, Lee, Cordero, Kopp, & Galvez, 2008).
Healing: Critical Components
The above discussion highlights the major components of healing. To begin with, Christians have a Supreme Being who guides, consoles, and blesses them. Many Christians will embrace the best components to achieve their health goals. The first component of healing is meditation. Christians “meditate to reconcile their past experiences” (Bednarz et al., 2010, p. 248). They also think deeply in order to understand the meaning of their lives. Caregivers should therefore encourage their patients to embrace the power of meditation. This practice will produce the best health outcomes (Betancourt et al., 2002, p. 9). Some Biblical verses support the healing process. The book of Hebrews (4:12) indicates that God is “living and powerful”. Christians can use similar verses to achieve their health goals.
Prayers are meaningful to many Christians. Prayers bring them closer to God. Christian believers pray for God’s guidance and healing. The “healing process should therefore focus on the soul, the mind, and the body” (Watts & Tomatsu, 2014, p. 65). Christian-based healing will emphasize the power of prayers. A strong Christian belief is critical in every healing process. Christians believe that God will destroy the world. They also believe that God can perform miracles. Competent nurses should use these components whenever supporting the health needs of different Christian patients.
Practical and Healthcare Implications
Christians expect the best support from their caregivers. They expect their caregivers to pray with them. They should also have much respect for God because he is the creator of the universe. Medical practitioners can quote powerful Biblical verses in order to strengthen the faiths of their patients. Caregivers from different religious backgrounds should be aware of the above worldviews. They should also embrace different practices such as meditation. They should encourage the family members of the patients to pray with them (Watts & Tomatsu, 2014). Such patients expect their nurses and caregivers to respect God. They should also embrace the power of prayers and Christian beliefs. This practice will ensure every caregiver offers culturally-competent care.
This religious group has some complex philosophies. Buddhists believe strongly that “the world is an ever-changing form” (Watts & Tomatsu, 2014, p. 78). Many “elements tend to come together in order to create a specific form” (Watts & Tomatsu, 2014, p. 78). Such elements will eventually disintegrate and result in new forms. This explanation supports the origin and development of the universe. The Buddha presents powerful teachings that can support the experiences of many followers. The worldviews of Buddhism can also support the competencies of many healthcare practitioners.
The “prime reality for Buddhists is samsara” (Watts & Tomatsu, 2014, p. 16). This means that the world has always been there. It will also “exist forever but experience different changes” (Watts & Tomatsu, 2014, p. 17). They have several gods who are involved in human affairs. Buddhists believe that salvation lies within the human soul. The Buddha was also a human being. He presented powerful teachings that can guide people towards better experiences in their lives. They embrace the best practices in order to become bodhisattvas. This “term bodhisattva means an individual who has become enlightened” (Watts & Tomatsu, 2014, p. 102). Buddhists see human beings as complex creatures who can achieve their spiritual goals. Some Buddhists treat death as a form of extinction. Those who follow the teachings of the Buddha will achieve their religious fulfillment. The Buddha is the source of knowledge. The teachings of the Buddha make it easier for human beings to determine what is wrong and right (Wilson-Stronks et al., 2008). Buddhists should focus on such ideas to become inspired. The purpose of human history is to prepare people for a better earth.
Healing: Critical Components
The Buddha encourages the community to support and take care of the sick. Kindness is a powerful virtue that can produce the best medical outcomes. The Buddha also teaches believers to shower the sick with understanding and compassion. Buddhists should use some practices such as recitation. This approach is believed to cure certain physical conditions and diseases. They should “recite the enlightenment factors in order to achieve their health objectives” (Watts & Tomatsu, 2014, p. 37). Buddhists believe that their spiritual qualities can support their health needs. These qualities include satisfaction and joy. These qualities will produce the best psychological experiences. They will also result in healing. The power of spiritual guidance is also critical whenever supporting the health goals of Buddhists. Such believers should yearn for a greater life when they become sick. They can use their imaginations to achieve the best religious goals. The sick should always focus on their spiritual needs. They should be determined to advance their spirituality (Watts & Tomatsu, 2014). The practice will eventually cure many diseases. These critical components are required whenever the health needs of a Buddhist patient. Many Buddhists also focus on these factors in order to achieve their health goals.
Practical and Healthcare Implications
Nurses and doctors are part of society. This knowledge explains why nurses should be ready to take care of the sick. Parents, caregivers, and friends should be part of the healing process. Patients in this religion expect their physicians to embrace various virtues such as joy and kindness (Wilson-Stronks et al., 2008). They should also be full of compassion, empathy, and love. Caregivers should also “recite various enlightenment factors to support the health needs of the targeted Buddhists” (Lum, 2013, p. 48). They should embrace the power of imagination whenever providing culturally-competent care to their patients (Watts & Tomatsu, 2014). The important goal is to support the spirituality of these patients. These practices will ensure every nurse provides culturally-competent healthcare (Lum, 2013). In conclusion, the possession of culturally-competent skills will ensure such caregivers produce the best health outcomes.
Bednarz, H., Schim, S., & Doorenbos, A. (2010). Cultural Diversity in Nursing Education: Perils, Pitfalls, and Pearls. Journal of Nursing Educator, 49(5), 253-260.
Betancourt, J., Green, A., & Carrillo, J. (2002). Cultural Competencies in Health Care: Emerging Frameworks and Practical Approaches. The Commonwealth Fund, 1(1), 1-30.
Lum, D. (2013). Culturally Competent Practice: A Framework for Understanding. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
Watts, J., & Tomatsu, Y. (2014). Buddhist Care for the Dying and Bereaved. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.
Wilson-Stronks, A., Lee, K., Cordero, C., Kopp, A., & Galvez, E. (2008). One Size Does Not Fit All: Meeting the Health Care Needs of Diverse Populations. Web.