Health Care Provider and Faith Diversity: First Draft
Healthcare workers come in contact with various cultures several times through out a day. It is imperative that medical staff be culturally competent and understanding that these different cultures come with their own set of spiritual beliefs that differ from their own. In this paper, three non-mainstream religions, Vodun, Rastafarian and Taoism, are going to be discussed and compared to Christianity in regards to their spiritual perspectives of healing, their critical components to healing and what health care providers should know when caring for people of these cultures.
Vodun, also known as Voodoo comes from the God Vodun of West Africa. Vodun believes that there is a higher power that has created earth and all life forms, which they call him, God Olorun. Like Christianity, Vodun is a religion of many different traditions and each group follows their own spiritual path and have their own perspective on healing.
Spiritual perspective on healing
Vodun beliefs are that the natural world isn't distinguishable from the supernatural world. People become ill if they have upset spirits or their ancestors. Depending on the degree of the wrong doing and if the person is deserving of being healed determines if healing will take place (Browdin, 1996). Depending if the illness was sent from God or from Satan, will depend on how healing takes places.
Critical components of healing
The component to healing is dependent on how the illness was received. If it was sent from God then biomedicine will cure a person. However, if illness was sent from a spirit or ancestor prayer is used in the form of dancing rituals. When needing to call upon a Loa, a spirit specific for type of problem or illness requiring attention, a priests and volunteers will dance to the beat of drums. During this ritual one of the dances gets over taken by a spirit of Loa and offered the blood from a sacrificed animal. When the Loa is pleased they leave the body and good fortune will come to the community or healing will take place. When dealing with those who practice Vodun it is important to understand what they feel is important and how they feel of practitioners of different belief.
Important to these believers
Those who practice Vodun have a distrust for health workers due to the negative impact that media has played on their spiritual beliefs. “Articles aimed at Western biomedical trained providers tend to view Voodoo as a folk belief system of the uneducated and superstitious and voodoo rituals are either presented as evil” (Miller, 2000). It is important that health care providers be culturally accepting to their practices and understands why mistrust may be there. As with those who follow Christianity, family is critical in decision making regarding health concerns. This culture respects their health care providers,
Rastafarian is a Jamaican religion that began in the 1930's and is popular in the...