Creating a More Just and Merciful World
Putting Healing At The Center Of Your Health Care Practice
Healing is described in many ways: a process of restoring health; an emotional and physical journey; and freedom from injury and illness. Importantly, it is the primary goal of health care.
Patients need healing, and health care practitioners can facilitate it. Despite this central role, there is growing concern that health professionals are becoming more focused on business and regulatory issues than they are on healing patients.
Reclaiming Healing in Health Care
Medical professionals and researchers have shared their views and findings about healing as a core aim of health care and the patient-provider relationship. Dr. Rana Awdish, a critical care physician and author, has contributed to the topics by sharing her own personal reflections in publications, speaking engagements and academia. She and professor Leonard Berry, a scholar in the study of health care services, recently co-authored a report about healing and health care practice. In the piece, they detail what they found to be key intersecting principles health care providers can apply to keep healing at the forefront of practice:
- Proximity – the nearness in which caretakers care for their patients. This includes administrators and insurers. Health care organizations that build closeness and empathy into their practices allow for a deeper personal connection between patients and medical providers.
- Mutuality – encourages patients to become empowered, which can promote healing. It reinforces the fact that patients are the rightful owners of their medical records and in charge of their health journeys. Mutuality allows for an honest and non-judgmental partnership between patient and provider in which the patient feels safe and the caretaker provides support.
- Resilience – focuses more on the patient’s intrinsic hope, self-identity and ability to make peace with themself. Health professionals support resilience by giving emotional and spiritual space for their patients. Clinicians, too, need space. As such, health institutions must support their staff members’ resilience.
- Kindness – helps to heal both patient and provider. Kindness earns the patient’s trust, which is an essential part of healing. Caregivers who understand the values and goals of their patients can offer care and treatment options that align with those values and goals. Importantly, kindness can be embedded in organizational culture.
Health care serves a vital role in society. Although technology and medication have become more closely associated with patient healing, health care leaders can put a greater focus on the emotional and spiritual aspects of healing.
To facilitate healing, experts say administrative and clinical leaders must strengthen organizational cultures to enable the patient-clinician partnership. The ways to do this, in summary, include forming personal connections, encouraging mutuality, building resilient teams and fostering kindness.
Promote Healing as a Health care Professional
You can provide the best in patient care by mastering the skills needed to work and lead in clinical care. Carlow University offers a range of bachelor’s degrees in Health Sciences — from occupational therapy, physical therapy, physician assistant, speech pathology, and more — that help you get started in a health care career and teach you to be a well-rounded health care professional.