We believe that the best care is the delivery of care that exceeds all expectation and that is encircled by compassion.” (Baptist Healing Trust, 1)
In terms of besting these challenges, the healing hospital must work to protect the morale of its personnel against the pressures that are inherent with the occupation. This means ensuring that personnel are giving the proper opportunities to rest, that facilities are adequately staffed and that the necessary resources are availed so that personnel can perform to the fullest of their abilities. This denotes that the healing hospitals capacity to meet its ambitions will be highly contingent upon its dexterity at managing the needs of healthcare workers just as it will be contingent upon its management of the patient needs.
The Gospels of Mark and Luke are particularly rich in allusion to the power which Jesus possessed to heal the sick. Here, the miracles which Jesus performed are celebrated as they relate to his ability to bring wellness to the men, women and children around him. In a symbolic sense, we can come to appreciate here the implications of the love and compassion at the center of the Chapman text. Indeed, these are the qualities which are found within Jesus and which bring relief to those whom he encountered. According to Mark 6:5, “He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them.”
The manner in which this is phrased may suggest to us that the healing of the sick is less miraculous than it is simply the duty of man to his fellow. This correlates to the principles of the healing hospital by suggesting that the loving kindness of Jesus between transposed into the hands of medical professionals.
The Gospel of Luke speaks of these miracles as well. In Luke 4:40 it is told that At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them.” Perhaps most important a nuance to be taken from this sentiment is that which distinguishes the attention that Jesus gives to “each one.” Here, healing if a function of the individual attention and personal devotion which the healer affords to every sick and enfeebled person.
This is a core principle of the healing hospital paradigm which equates individual attentiveness and bedside manner with better long-term health and healing outcomes. Accordingly, we are instructed to take the example offered by Jesus Christ and channel that into the performance of medicine. By using the humanity and compassion demonstrated by Jesus, the individual health practitioner has the capacity to perform the miraculous.
Ultimately, the discussion on the healing hospital paradigm says that health outcomes will be highly correlated to the capacity of the hospital to truly afford its patients a proper measure of individual treatment time, a meaningful commitment of emotional energy and a suitable bedside manner. In this regard, we are affirmed in the view of Christianity and the scriptures as a useful lens for operating a healing hospital. The priorities of compassion, healing and humanitarianism are mutual to both the Christian faith and the medical profession.
Baptist Healing Trust. (2010). The Compassionate Care Initiative. Baptist Healing Trust.org.
Chapman, E. (2003). Radical Loving Care: Building the Healing Hospital in America. Baptist Healing Hospital.