Re-humanizing Medicine Supporting Whole Health in the Professional to Deliver Whole-Person Care
Presented at Health Professionals’ Health Conference
Brisbane Australia | October 4, 2013
Abstract: Increasingly, we hear about the need to provide whole-person and person-centered care. Healthcare reforms in the U.S. focus on the Patient-Centered Medical Home model and the Institute of Medicine report, Crossing the Quality Chasm, cites patient-centered care as a priority. However, we work in healthcare delivery systems that are fragmented, time-pressured and at times frankly dehumanizing for staff and patients. How can we expect health professionals to treat the whole person when work environments do not support the whole person of the professional?
This presentation will focus on two primary issues. The first is a working definition of what it means to be a whole person. The second is a view of health care settings as environments that affect both staff and clients. The concept of the "therapeutic community," is helpful in this regard. There is, thus, a need for the development of health care environments which support the whole person of staff as well as patients.
This presentation will examine a nine-dimensional model of what it means to be a whole person. This model is applicable to both the health professional and the patient. The model includes: physical, emotional, mental, compassionate, self-expressive, intuitive, spiritual, contextual and temporal dimensions. Each of these nine human dimensions of a whole person will be briefly discussed. The presentation will then examine ways that these dimensions have been supported and developed in staff in an inpatient psychiatric rehabilitation setting in New Zealand.