Discuss how the institutions of religion, health care and education may be intertwined

Discuss how the institutions of religion, health care and education may be intertwined

Discuss how the institutions of religion, health care and education may be intertwined

Discussion Prompt 1: Discuss how the institutions of
religion, health care, and education may be intertwined. Are any of these
institutions used to maintain social control? If so, how?

Discussion Prompt 2: Describe how sociologists define mental
illness. Use the major theoretical perspectives in your response.

The diversity of religions around the world creates challenges for health care providers and systems to provide culturally competent medical care. Cultural competence is the ability of health providers and organizations to deliver health care services that meet the cultural, social, and religious needs of patients and their families. Culturally competent care can improve patient quality and care outcomes. Strategies to move health professionals and systems towards these goals include providing cultural competence training and developing policies and procedures that decrease barriers to providing culturally competent patient care.

Consequences of Cultural Competence Deficiencies

If providers and health care systems are not working together to provide culturally competent care, patients may have untoward health consequences, receive poor quality care, and be dissatisfied with the care they receive. The quality of patient-health professional interactions is decreased. Lower-quality patient-health professional interactions are associated with decreased satisfaction in the healthcare provider. In fact, African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, and Muslims report that the quality of their care was diminished because of their ethnicity or race.

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Discuss how the institutions of religion, health care and education may be intertwined
Discuss how the institutions of religion, health care and education may be intertwined

Why should providers and systems be culturally and spiritually sensitive? The Joint Commission (TJC) requires hospitals to be accountable for maintaining patient rights, including accommodation for cultural, religious, and spiritual values. Healthcare professionals and systems must care for patients as whole persons; this includes the body, mind, and spirit.

It is important for healthcare to include the cultural and spiritual needs of the patient. Healthcare professionals should be empowered with the knowledge and skills to respond to the needs of patients and their families at an intensely stressful time. Institutions that seek or maintain TJC accreditation need to demonstrate expertise in cultural and religious competence.

Health systems and healthcare providers are developing strategies and techniques to respond to the religious and spiritual needs of patients and families for a number of reasons. One reason is that, in addition to TJC, state and federal guidelines encourage institutional responsiveness to population diversity. These strategies are essential to meeting the federal government’s Healthy People goal of eliminating ethnic and racial health disparities.

Culturally Competent Medical Care

Patient’s beliefs, behaviors, and values are shaped by factors such as ethnicity, gender, language, mental ability, nationality, occupation, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. Cultural competence is the provider and systems able to understand and integrate cultural intelligence into the delivery of healthcare. The goal of providing culturally competent health care services is to provide consistent quality of care to every patient, regardless of their cultural, ethnic, racial, or religious background.

Religion and Healthcare

Why are religion and spirituality important in healthcare? Religion and spirituality are important factors in the majority of patients seeking care. Unfortunately, health providers may not take religious beliefs into account when they are dealing with difficult medical decisions for patients and their families.

In the history of man, religious leaders and health providers were often the same. Only within recent times has medicine taken on a scientific approach that has resulted in a separation between medicine and religion.

The challenge for health professionals is in understanding that patients often turn to their religious and spiritual beliefs when making medical decisions. Religion and spirituality can impact decisions regarding diet, medicines based on animal products, modesty, and the preferred gender of their health providers. Some religions have strict prayer times that may interfere with medical treatment.

Healthcare providers should be respectful of a patient’s religious and spiritual needs. Many patient’s anxieties are reduced when they turn to their faith during healthcare challenges. Because many patients turn to their beliefs when difficult healthcare decisions are made, it is vital for healthcare professionals to recognize and accommodate the patient’s religious and spiritual needs. Health professionals should provide an opportunity for patients to discuss their religious and spiritual beliefs and tailor their evaluation and treatment to meet their specific needs.

Topic 1 DQ 1

Oct 3-5, 2022

What would spirituality be according to your own worldview? How do you believe that your conception of spirituality would influence the way in which you care for patients?

In essence, spirituality is the quest for the meaning of life (Bogue and Hogan, 2020). This vague term takes on many meanings depending on who is asked. Worldviews have a large impact on what path spirituality takes for someone. Personally, my worldview aligns with realism and optimism. Realism in the fact that what I can perceive and what is tangible in this world is what creates the majority of my experience. My optimistic worldview allows me to rely on such ideas as faith in order to maintain a positive view of my future. These play into my spirituality by allowing me to stay grounded in the present and accepting that the future is still unknown but has so much potential to be better than what I can comprehend now. My worldview allows my spirituality to be fluid and less of a daily burden mentally. The combination of my worldview and spirituality allow me to be present for my patients in their times of need, maintain positivity, be open to external experiences and worldviews, all while maintaining a tangible awareness of the physical ailments they are experiencing. Faith without realism does not benefit the patient because even if a grim prognosis exists, realism allows us to deal with the now and continue to move forward. Even if moving forward towards a terminal diagnosis, solace can be found in working through the physical realm to eventually be at peace in faith; knowing all that can be done in the now has been addressed. 


Bogue, D. W. and Hogan, M. (2020). Foundational Issues in Christian Spirituality and Ethics. Practicing dignity: An introduction to Christian values and decision making in health care. Retrieved from https://lc.gcumedia.com/phi413v/practicing-dignity-an-introduction-to-christian-values-and-decision-making-in-health-care/v1.1/#/chapter/1