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Health Care Provider: Awareness and Diversity of Faiths Essay


Within the health care system of today, many health care providers are introduced to various religious beliefs and practices through caring for those patients and families from different cultures. In order for competent medical treatment to be performed, the health care providers must take into account the religious beliefs of those in our care to deliver good and effective quality of care. This paper will examine this student’s point of view on Christianity and compare it with Native American Spirituality, Hinduism, and Buddhistic religious views and faiths regarding healing in today’s health care society.

Patient’s cultural and spirituality must be incorporated, and considerations addressed as essential key elements to the overall health of the patient. This will provide the best possible outcomes for the patient. An analysis and comparison of Native American Spirituality, Hinduism and Buddhistic religious views on healing and mortality and will be paralleled, explored and discussed against the Christian faith view of the aforementioned within this paper.


Providing health care to those of different spiritual backgrounds, it is essential to recognize the religious practices and beliefs of the patient and their families. It is of utmost importance to determine the specific needs that correspond with their practices and beliefs. Comprehending these beliefs will permit health care providers to set forth a plan that promotes the best possible outcomes for the patient in the end. The United States of America welcomes people of different nationalities and faiths. With such a diversity of cultures and religions, health care providers are tasked with educating themselves concerning a multitude of faiths and corroborating the information learned with those particular religious beliefs.

This allows the patient and families to receive spiritual care as well as the physical care they need. Hospitals nationwide have now recognized the cultural diversity of those that are living in the United States and have implemented a program to the training of its employees in cultural diversity.

Christian perspective on restorative health

Christian perspective on restorative health is based on the teachings from the Bible. Those who practice this faith believe that no matter the circumstances, God can restore health. While Jesus was alive and walked upon earth, it was proved that He was indeed the Son of God by the ability He had to heal those around Him. He restored health in many different ways. Matthew 14:14 (King James Version), the writer of this first Gospel tells its audience Jesus saw a abundant crowd and He had commiseration the crowd and restored health to the infirmed and debilitated. His touch restored health to the people and healed them (Matthew 9:29-30, King James Version). Through spoken words they were restored to health (Matthew 8:8, King James Version), and He made sound and whole multiple infirmities and afflictions amongst the population (Matthew 9:35, King James Version).

People of Christian faiths believe that God can work through gifted individuals for assistance in healing. As declared in the King James Version Bible “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a particular people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9, King James Version). Prayer is powerful and Christians are taught that healing can occur, but do not know exactly when this may occur. Christians do have strong faith in His power which comforts us in knowing that He has ultimate control. Christian families and the Church prayer and support, the process of healing begins and ends in this context (James 5:16, King James Version). Christians believe in following Gods word by faith and goodwill and generosity will be granted throughout their lives (Psalms 23:1-6, King James Version).

Impression on restoration of health

This student’s impression on restorative health from illness is one of the foundations of faith about the God of the Bible. Many stories declared in different parts of the Bible narrative restored health required nothing but faith. This student believes in the authority of supplication, individualized, and collectively within the congregate (a collective consciousness) and with supplication, healing has happened.

Christianity and Native American Spirituality Compared

The majority of Native American’s do believe that the Great Spirit (some Native American’s call this Great Spirit “Grandfather” and “Old Man”), which is part of all creation, from the heavens to the ground with all beings put here on earth. Conception is believed to be a blessing from God by Christians. Native American Spirituality believes that a person’s health is brought about through actions and interactions they have with the spirit world and wholeness is derived from the balance between the universe and the spirit world. Sickness derives from the imbalance with the spirit world and is causation of disharmony within the individual (“Guidelines for Native American Indians,” 2004).

Christians have faith that God watches over the individual and prevents sickness from occurring. Native American Spiritual care is important through healing rituals which are performed at ceremonies and attended by family, tribe, along with a medical healer, either man or woman (Robinson, 2008). Christians have faith and pray to God that He heals those affected with sickness and diseases. If hospitalized, those of Native American Spirituality rely upon items which are considered sacred and powered by the Great Spirit which are in possession of the patient around the clock for healing (“Guidelines for Native American Indians,” 2004).

As stated above, a Christians’ faith and belief that prayer is sacred and He answers prayers for good health and healing. When death happens, those of Native American Spirituality have a firm conviction in reincarnation and return in a multitude of forms other than human (“Guidelines for Native American Indians,” 2004). Whereas, those of Christian faith believes that once a person expires, the soul rises to heaven, but the persons’ body stays on earth.

Christianity and Hinduism Compared

Oldest of the world known religions is Hinduism. Hinduism is a way of life. Hindu’s worship multiple deities, but Christians’ only believe in a single God, who created the ethereal and temporal worlds. Hindu’s adorn themselves ornamental clothing that have a specific religious meaning and some Christians wear special trinkets of faith, according to different denominations. Hindu’s are noted to pray three times a day and depending on the denomination, Christians will attend church several times a week to only once a week. Hindu’s believe in reincarnation once death has transpired (Sharma, 2002), while Christians believe upon death, the soul ascends to heaven and the body stays on earth.

Christianity and Buddhism Compared

There was a man named Buddha, who after many years of witnessing anguish which was related to old age, sickness, and death, fore sake his family. Setting out alone, his intent was to find life’s meaning. Buddhism (Hinduism also shares this belief), believes in karma. Karma is the belief that the force produced from the actions of a person is held to perpetuate transmigration and its ethical consequences determine the nature of the person’s next existence, a continuum of rebirth life cycles. A strong belief in karma exist, where every action has a reaction and that everything happens for a reason (“Guidelines for Buddhism”, 2003) and a Christians’ faith is that God heals all those who are ill. Christians believe that everyone has one life, one soul, while reincarnation is the belief among the Buddhist.

The emphasis of the spiritual well-being of the Buddhist spiritual well-being is the translucence of the mind by prayer along with meditation during sickness. Christians’ depend up His mercy to restore their health after sickness. But if they are not healed, then they are to accept His will. The Buddhist and the Christian believe health restoration is foundationally grounded in spirituality. Supplication and mediation is practiced by both faiths, but those who are of the Buddhist faith perform chanting (Numrich, 2001). As death nears, both have varying kinfolk, pastoral, ministerial and clergyperson’s will be summoned to the bedside. Post obitum, posthumous care is critical to the practicing Buddhist. Practitioners of Buddhism believe the incorporeal part of the individual can take up to three days, per say, to evacuate the body (Numrich, 2001). The Christian believes the nonphysical, incorporeal soul ascends to heaven while the physical, corporal body remains.


The similarities between the Native American Spirituality, Hindu, and Buddhist devotions include prayer, family, and clergyman or women utilized during sickness and healing. The major difference between the Christian faith and the latter three is that once life ends the belief in reincarnated is paramount and the individual returns to the known world. Christians believe after death has occurred, the soul, the most sacred part, ascends into heaven where God acts as arbiter and judges the individuals faith and deeds while on physically in the world, but the physical vessel, the body will remain behind in the physical world. The utmost importance for the spiritual health of the patient is to combine their beliefs into the plan of care. This can be accomplished with health care providers allowing the individual and kinfolk to partake in specific rituals, which will support the spiritual well-being of the individual.


Guidelines for health care providers interacting with American Indian patients and their families. (2004). Retrieved from http://www.advocatehealth.com/documents/faith/CG-Native_American.pdf Guidelines for health care providers interacting with patients of the Buddhist religion and their families. (2003). Retrieved from http://www.advocatehealth.com/documents/faith/CGBuddhist.pdf Numrich, P. D. (2001). The buddhist tradition: religious beliefs and healthcare decisions. Retrieved from http://www.advocatehealth.com/documents/faith/Buddhist-Tradition.pdf Robinson, B. A. (2008). Native American Spirituality: beliefs of Native Americans, from the Arctic to the Southwest. Retrieved from http://www.religioustolerance.org/nataspir3.htm Sharma, A. (2002). The Hindu Tradition: religious beliefs and healthcare decisions. Retrieved from http://www.advocatehealth.com/documents/faith/Hindufinal.pdf

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