Today we walked to the Lakes District Hospital from our hotel and had a traditional Maori greeting ceremony and tour of the hospital. We learned a lot about what is important to the staff at the hospital and how they incorporate Maori traditions and ideals into their practice. The hospital’s main focus was a holistic healthcare. Their mission was to follow their holistic Maori model of health for all their patients. This includes four points that symbolize four walls of a house or morae (traditional meeting house): Mental/emotional, physical, spiritual, and social well-being. They do not think that physical well-being is enough, but that their care should cover all the needs of a patient in order to give the best care.
This is such a strong and important style of healthcare and I believe the most efficient. I know that for me personally, whenever my family or friends are hospitalized, I am praying for their recovery and the nurses and doctors helping them. This is as natural to me as putting on a Band-Aid when I get a cut. Even though I am not physically helping them, I am spiritually helping them in a way that will lead to healing. As we discussed as a group, this mode of health is present in many parts of the U.S., but it is not a complete focus we have. If this were strongly enforced, I believe it would create a more positive and better experience for patients. I know how important it is to me, so I am sure others would appreciate it too.
By analyzing how well this system works for New Zealand, and examining how the U.S. does not fully embrace its importance, I will try to do my part to make it better. I believe it is very important to be spiritually or emotionally well, as well as physically. They are all connected and I will try to treat them all with equal importance. I know that we have spiritual assessments in our hospitals, but that they are sometimes skipped. This is not okay and I hope to follow through with those for every patient. Every person deserves the best hospital experience possible, and I believe this is the key to achieving that.