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The old systems of health care did not incorporate a framework aimed at relieving the mental suffering of patients; in fact their method of handling patients seemed to promote the suffering especially of the terminally ill. Spiritual discussion between health provider and patient has always been looked as odd but time has changed and it is now being incorporated in the healthcare systems. Different people interpret spirituality to mean different things. To some its faith while to other is what they attach meaning to about life and death.
Illness disrupts ones sense of meaning and erodes values and faith. Identifying spiritual needs and meeting the needs of those individuals play a great role in restoring the lost meaning. The goal of meeting the spiritual needs of a renal failure patient or any other terminally ill patient is to help keep the patient pain free and 'sane' until death arrives. Health care provider process should thus have a framework on how to assess their patients' spiritual needs and how to meet them.
While coming up with such a framework the first thing to understand is that patients are unique and experience the disease differently. When a person knows he is dying he/she loses meaning of life and fears of the unknown settle in their mind. The meaning of life therefore, has to be found in other ways and this is where spiritual nourishment comes in. Failure to address the spiritual needs of a patient may distort the physical condition. Before you can meet these needs it is good to understand the values and beliefs of that patient since every person has a natural belief towards spirituality. As we listen and observe patient we bridge the gap between the patient and provider.
Hope is important and makes a difference in patient's life with renal failure and it determines how they live their remaining life. The healthcare providers affect a patient hope with whatever they do or say. This means that any health care process should incorporate a model that gives their patient hope. They should aim to sustain hope even during prognosis discussions though it a challenge. This does not mean that the provider should withhold information in fact information about their illness and interventions to be provided concern them more than medical care.
So the first thing should be informing the patient about what they are suffering from. Discuss what is known about the disease and the curative measures? Such patients want to know that someone care about what is happening in their lives in turn they feel loved. Inform them that anyone can get the disease so as to eliminate any guilt feeling and in turn this will promote peace. Letting the patient know there are others who suffered from the disease and got healed gives them courage to face their condition. Whatever the patient belief is providing them with materials of people who add value to their faith so that they can believe in future life.
In conclusion we can say as long as heath care systems primary aim is to cure or manage the physical pain, they should also treat patients as human who have spiritual needs. And that this spiritual aspect of healing is as important as the medical aspect and in fact if administered successfully great success can be achieved. They should understand that terminally ill patients need spiritual nourishments aimed at regaining courage, hope, faith, peace and love.