Religious Considerations for Healthcare Providers in America: Christianity, Judaism, Hindu, Muslim, and Buddhism

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Religious preferences, beliefs, and practices are all things that will likely be encountered, regardless of one’s line of work. Religion affiliation for some is a passive association carrying less weight in their day-to-day living but for others it is a very real and integral part of their lives; shaping how they handle situations, personal preferences, and attitudes about health care. Educating healthcare providers about various religions not only allows them to be more culturally competent in their respective fields but also will help guide them in practical implications for health care about the needs of those they serve.1
As modern medicine continues to advance, health care no longer takes a dualistic approach and
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For subgroups that practice outside prayer, those people providing outside prayer may visit patients in the hospital to pray with them and privacy should be given in this situation. Especially in a hospital setting, there are often clergy visitations, either personal religious leaders or hospital chaplains, to patients. Healthcare providers should respect the privacy of the patient/clergy visit and avoid entering the room unless given permission by the patient. For end of life care, the provider should consult with the family about preferences because depending on the subgroup there may be ritual and practices followed during the time leading up to death. There are different baptismal beliefs and preferences among the subgroups, which makes it important to ask the parents or family about such preferences if a newborn or child is in crisis. In some cases, males may be the decision-makers and special consideration regarding decisions about future direction of treatment may be appropriate.5
Judaism makes up a small percentage of the world’s religions, but has it’s largest concentration of believers in the United States followed by Israel.3,4 Most Jews

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