Interfaith ideas connect health care providers and patients

Megan Granquist, director of athletic training and professor of kinesiology, speaks about the connection of faith and health care Tuesday in the Quay Davis Board Room. She discussed the way interfaith concepts can help patient care, as well as strengthen the connection between health care providers and patients. / photo by Chris Rogers
Megan Granquist, director of athletic training and professor of kinesiology, speaks about the connection of faith and health care Tuesday in the Quay Davis Board Room. She discussed the way interfaith concepts can help patient care, as well as strengthen the connection between health care providers and patients. / photo by Chris Rogers

Jordan Alcasas
Staff Write

Megan Granquist, director of the athletic training program and professor of kinesiology, presented “Interfaith and Health Care” on Tuesday in the Quay Davis Board Room before roughly 30 people.

The presentation was about the value of interfaith concepts in the world of health care. Interfaith concepts, in her view, can help a health care provider and patient, as better knowledge of them will improve patient care vastly.

“It is to reach across bridges of difference,” Granquist said.

Granquist moved on to her story of discovering interfaith concepts and relationship to health care. 

She said she was inspired to look into the relationship between the two by a student who asked about the effects of interfaith concepts on health care practices.

Granquist found that after doing a search, there were only a handful of papers and a blog about the mixing of faith concepts and health care. She also found that these papers all stemmed from a purely Christian worldview.

She said that her goals have been to describe concepts related to interfaith care, help health care officials include interfaith concepts, and to include secular identities for patients.

Granquist found that health care providers and athletic trainers may not need to agree with interfaith identities, but regardless they should understand the patients identity in order to acknowledge them. 

Granquist described the interfaith triangle refers to relationships, attitudes and knowledge to help measure success of interfaith cooperation.

“As people have more knowledge of different worldviews, they seek out relationships with people of different worldviews,” Granquist said.

Granquist continued by providing examples of acknowledging other worldviews being helpful within patient care.

“Patients are their own best experts on themselves in relation to worldviews,” Granquist said.

She found that patient communication was a large part of the link between interfaith concepts and health care. 

Granquist also stressed the importance of not bringing personal worldviews into patient care, as it can limit that care.

“Put your uncomfortableness aside for high quality patient care,” Granquist said.

She said that acknowledgement of interfaith concepts can affect how health care officials take care of their parents. 

They can be important with aspects of attire, diet, fasting or even different medical considerations relating to treatment.

“Perhaps for that patient, there is a difference if something is a preventative or treatment modality,” Granquist said.

Granquist then opened the floor to questions, receiving one about the incorporation of interfaith concepts into what is taught to kinesiology majors and other health students

“Cultural competence (may amount to) checking the box, whereas this move to cultural humility is recognizing that we are learning and on this learning journey, which is important for interfaith,” Granquist said.

She said that incorporating interfaith concepts is both a choice and a process due to the limited resources in the field. 

Granquist said that there is room for improvement in this realm. She said she is open to obtaining better understanding of interfaith patients.

“I think it is important to help a patient,” Danielle Bennett, a graduate student in athletic training, said.

“It adds to that learning as it is and it’s important to take their faith and spirituality into account so that you are giving the best care.”

Others agreed. 

“Athletic trainers are patient centered, and with older students or someone on a gender scale, or of a different faith, it’s better to get to know our patients so we don’t reduce them to just an ankle sprain,” said Paul Alvarez, professor of Kinesiology and athletic trainer.

Jordan Alcasas can be reached at jordan.alcasas@laverne.edu.

 

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Chris Rogers is a junior photography major with a minor in art history. He is a staff photographer for the Campus Times and chief photographer of La Verne Magazine. He is also a freelance photographer and movie stills photographer. He discovered his love for photography at a young age as he and his family traveled the world in their goal to reach all seven continents. They were fortunate to reach their seventh continent in the winter of 2019. He have a deep love for photography and loves being able to tell an entire story through one still image at a time. His work can be found at ChrisRogersPhotography.com.

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