Postmodern View and Spirituality in Healthcare - 1701 Words | Essay Example (2022)


Reflection is one of the most effective ways to understand oneself and set some goals, as well as evaluate existing standards. The exploration of one’s worldview is essential for a healthcare professional who should ensure the provision of high-quality care to patients. It is essential to have a clear understanding of what health is and how to address issues that may arise. Research suggests that up to 95% of American nurses have a postmodern perspective of human, health, and disease (Newbanks, Rieg, & Schaefer, 2017). I am one of these practitioners, and I also believe that the source of caring, as well as healing, is within a person. This paper includes a reflection regarding my postmodern worldview and the ethical standards that guide me in my personal and professional lives.

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Christian Spirituality and Postmodern Relativism in Health Care

American health care can now be characterized by the use of a holistic approach as healthcare professionals try to address all patients’ needs, including physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Spirituality is seen as one of the important components of care since this aspect is closely related to people’s recovery and ability to adjust to new conditions (Puchalski, 2001). Spirituality is often contraposed with postmodern relativism when applied to health care. These two paradigms are rather different, and nurses should be aware of the major premises of both perspectives in order to provide high-quality care.

The Christian view of spirituality is quite well-defined and described in numerous religious texts. Christian spirituality implies the person’s commitment to certain values and a strong belief in being a part of a larger entity (Andrews, Watson, Chen, & Morris, 2016). As far as the Christian perspective within health care is concerned, it is believed that nurses should be compassionate and have to explore patients’ spirituality helping them to cope with their health-related issues (Baldacchino, 2015). Christians seek strength (as well as faith) in their selves, and healing is believed to be a process guided by faith. Importantly, these people’s faith helps them address all the situations as they follow clear standards and laws of morality.

Postmodern relativism, as its name implies, is based on the assumption that there can be nothing definite since everything is relative. The vast majority of Western nurses are affected by this view, so the way they provide care is also influenced by postmodernist values (Andrews et al., 2016). Nurses who share this perspective rely on science and scientific approach, but they also believe that there are forces beyond scientific knowledge. Healing is a product of a combination of procedures and practices that may include science, faith, and spirituality. Interestingly, postmodern people believe that people can heal if they find strength. Of course, this search for a force to cope is facilitated by advanced strategies and technologies.

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Scientism and Arguments Against It

As mentioned above, postmodernism is the worldview that is rooted in scientism but is based on different assumptions regarding truth and evidence. Scientism emerged in the 17th century when the so-called Scientific Revolution took place (Burnett, n.d.). People made numerous discoveries that shed light on diverse aspects of the physical world, which shook many religious people’s convictions. Scientists have developed various methods and instruments to explore the world throughout centuries.

One of the primary pillars of scientism is that something that cannot be scientifically and/or empirically explained does not exist. According to this worldview, every assumption has to be supported by strong evidence, which makes this assumption true. Scientists have tried to prove that all phenomena obey natural laws (Burnett, n.d.). At the same time, researchers have also attempted to show that natural laws can be incorporated into the system of the laws of physics.

However, this worldview is characterized by some weaknesses and inconsistencies that are often ignored by scientists. One of the arguments against scientism is its false objectivity (Moreland, 2018). Science is the creation of humans, which makes it subjective as it is based on people’s interpretations and systems. Scientists may have different views on a phenomenon, although they may use similar methods to explore it. Moreover, there are numerous aspects of the physical world that are unexplained, and they still exist and affect people’s lives.

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Another important point to make regarding scientism is its focus on humans and human behavior. People need to understand that they are only a part of the system and they are not beyond it. Scientism tends to place the major value on humans and the way they explore and function in the natural world. This view is actually destroying the planet as humans have used its resources without considering any consequences, which has an adverse impact on people’s health.

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Personal Perspective and Worldview

Ultimate Reality

Based on the abovementioned, I would admit that I am a postmodern person who understands that relativism is what defines people’s existence in the physical world. My worldview is rooted in a mixture of paradigms and beliefs that existed in previous centuries, including but not confined to scientism and Christian values. I believe in science, but I also believe in the metaphysical world with its complexity. I try to find certain evidence and explanations of phenomena, but I do not feel uncomfortable if some questions are unanswered. I know that some aspects of human existence and the natural world cannot be perceived by our minds characterized by different boundaries. At that, monotheism is rather outdated, in my opinion, so I tend to see ultimate reality as the energy that is one of the most important components of the universe. Ultimate reality is something around us and something within. People cannot perceive it with their minds, but they can feel it in various situations.

Nature of the Universe

Since ultimate reality is energy, the nature of the universe can be defined as energy in its diverse manifestations. One of the major points to make here is that people can hardly understand what the universe is as we have a limited capacity to perceive complex information. The universe is infinite and can take different forms in people’s imagination and beyond that. Different dimensions, time channels, the physical world, people’s brains, and perceptions are all forms of and routes for this energy. My view of the universe is quite important for my further practice as I see healing as the process that can be facilitated by humans. However, the roots of healing are inside of every human as energy can be found in every cell or atom, and it gives life.

Human Being

Since health care is concerned with treating people, every healthcare professional should have a clear perspective regarding the matter. For me, a human being is a species that lives in communities. People’s need to live with other humans is one of the central points to be considered by healthcare professionals. Human beings have various needs, including physical, mental, emotional, social, cultural, and spiritual. It is noteworthy that all these needs are prioritized rather differently as some people may place certain basic needs lower than spiritual ones. For instance, some scientists were ready to die to gain knowledge.


Knowledge is rather an abstract notion that is often viewed differently. My firm belief is that knowledge is, at least, twofold as it is a set of data necessary for survival and gaining pleasure. People accumulate knowledge to be able to survive in the world as they learn how to accommodate their lives to the environment or change it. Knowledge for pleasure is the satisfaction of people’s social needs. Humans need to have social links, and such aspects as culture serve as the necessary glue. People accumulate knowledge regarding cultures, history, and similar areas, to feel connected to others. When it comes to healthcare professionals, knowledge is one of the instruments they use to help others survive and satisfy their needs.

Basis of Ethics

As mentioned above, I am a representative of the postmodern society where people value relativity and search for standards in different spheres. Although I do not attend church very often or celebrate major Christian holidays in the religious sense, my ethical and moral codes are rooted in some major Christian standards. I believe that people should help each other and try to improve the world around them. However, I also believe that people are completely responsible for their actions and the associated consequences. I also think the world is rather just since every human being pays a certain price for all made decisions. Regarding health and illness, diseases are a consequence of some activities (behaviors) of a person and previous generations. Healing is an intrinsic ability of humans if the person finds the resources within their mind and body available but often undiscovered.

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The Purpose of My Existence

One of the hardest questions to ask is related to the purpose of people’s existence. I think every person has asked this kind of question at least once in a lifetime. I also doubt that all of these questions were properly answered. I have tried to address this issue for many years. So far, I have a response, but I do not find it completely satisfactory. The purpose of my existence is living, improving this world in different ways, having children, and helping them to be successful. Since I believe that the universe is a combination of different manifestations of energy, I believe that my primary purpose is to use this energy effectively and transform it into other types and manifestations. Professional accomplishments (including social input) and children are the most obvious pass to achieve this goal.

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On balance, it is possible to state that my postmodern worldview makes me a compassionate healthcare practitioner who utilizes an evidence-based approach. I know that people have different needs, and their wellness depends on the degree to which these needs are satisfied. As a healthcare professional, I try to help my patients to explore their spirituality and find the strength to cope with their health-related issues. My worldview also helps me handle the complexity of human existence and the peculiarities of nursing practice. It is also noteworthy that this reflection is a helpful instrument in my self-development, and I will definitely explore my perspective regarding various phenomena and concepts.


Andrews, B., Watson, P. J., Chen, Z. J., & Morris, R. J. (2016). Postmodernism, positive psychology, and post-traumatic growth within a Christian ideological surround. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 12(5), 489-500. doi:10.1080/17439760.2016.1228004

Baldacchino, D. (2015). Spiritual care education of health care professionals. Religions, 6(2), 594-613. doi:10.3390/rel6020594

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Burnett, T. (n.d.). What is scientism? Web.

Moreland, J. P. (2018). 10 things you should know about scientism. Web.

Newbanks, R. S., Rieg, L. S., & Schaefer, B. (2017). What is caring in nursing? Sorting out humanistic and Christian perspectives. Journal of Christian Nursing, 1, 160-167. doi:10.1097/cnj.0000000000000441

Puchalski, C. M. (2001). The role of spirituality in health care. Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings, 14(4), 352-357.


What is postmodernism healthcare? ›

Postmodernism offers a number of nursing practice revise that including humanism, conditions, and borderless, multi-voice, view, and multicultural world, changes in meaning of knowledge, and life-long learning.

What is the perspective of postmodern relativism within health care? ›

Postmodern relativism, as its name implies, is based on the assumption that there can be nothing definite since everything is relative. The vast majority of Western nurses are affected by this view, so the way they provide care is also influenced by postmodernist values (Andrews et al., 2016).

How does spirituality affect health? ›

You may feel a higher sense of purpose, peace, hope, and meaning. You may experience better confidence, self-esteem, and self-control. It can help you make sense of your experiences in life. When unwell, it can help you feel inner strength and result in faster recovery.

What is postmodern moral relativism? ›

4.4 Fundamentals of Axiology. 4.4.1 Relativism. Postmodernism rejects universal moral and spiritual values and accepts the relativity of all values in all areas. Therefore, no specific value preference exists. Everyone should order their own values, value preferences, and approaches (Tajik, 2005; Rahnama, 2009).


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