Skip to main content

Season 3 | Episode 5 bonus content

One Thing Today: Write It Down

Spirituality and religion aren’t things we typically think about when it comes to health and health care.

February 14, 2023 | 5 minutes

Episode 5 bonus content: Hosts Callie Chamberlain and Dr. Kenny Poole continue the conversation

In this bonus episode, our hosts Callie Chamberlain and Dr. Kenny Poole share how to think about, write down and share how spirituality and/or religion affect your care preferences so you feel prepared to talk about them — both now and in the future.

Speaker 1 (00:01):

Welcome back to another bonus episode of Until It's Fixed. I'm Kelly Chamberlain.

Speaker 2 (00:06):

And I'm Dr. Kenny Poole.

Speaker 1 (00:08):

As we cover ways to make healthcare work better for everyone, these bonus episodes will draw connections between the topic we recently discussed and our daily lives.

Speaker 2 (00:17):

We'll talk about one thing you and I can do today related to that topic, to take charge of our health and wellbeing.

Speaker 1 (00:26):

As you know, we covered these really big topics on opportunities to improve our healthcare. Some of these can feel really overwhelming or leave you wondering now what, so we're talking about one thing you and I can do to move our health forward, and as it relates to last week. Today we'll be speaking about spiritual and religious practices and how they directly impact our health. So like we talked about, spirituality can mean a lot of things.

Speaker 2 (00:49):

I think it's important for us to level, set and really define spirituality and then religion. So spirituality would be defined as seeking meaningful connection with something bigger than yourself, like drawing emotions from that, like peace or gratitude or acceptance. And then we can think about religion as facilitating spirituality through established traditions and institutions and belief in a higher power.

Speaker 1 (01:17):

Yeah. So one of the things that I think about as a birth and a death doula is it's easier to have those as entry points to think about spirituality and religion because you're naturally meeting a beginning and an end, and so it feels like it's a more relevant, appropriate timed conversation. I think for some people who have like very clear religious, spiritual traditions and backgrounds, that can also come into play in the in between, right? But for a lot of us, it can feel a little bit like unless someone's being born or dying, how does this come into play with my medical care?

Speaker 2 (01:55):

There are those very big moments, as you mentioned, but there's so many other interactions like physicals, checkups, maintenance visits, home visits, visits for things like coughs and colds and things like that, or immunizations. And I think that it's important that in those type of interactions for people to really convey what their spiritual priorities are and having, again, that written down and expressed and articulated to the healthcare team, because I think that the healthcare team is better suited to have that context when treating people,

Speaker 1 (02:38):

When I'm thinking about a treatment plan or I need to do follow up, it might seem strange to have that conversation, but a natural in is to think about the definition of spirituality that you just gave, which is about peace, acceptance, gratitude, like what makes you feel good? What's impacting your experience and how do you wanna feel throughout your interactions? I'm thinking about an example of someone who's maybe pregnant and it would be important for them to say to their doctor, it's really good for me to feel balanced. It's important for me to feel like I have acceptance of the changes that are happening in my body. Therefore, what would you recommend to me? Or, I want to pursue acupuncture. I wanna do all of these supplemental things that support someone, and as part of a holistic care journey. That's kind of what I think about in the realm of spirituality and religion and how those beliefs naturally come into the conversation that are important dimensions of how we think about a treatment plan and can be a natural end to having that conversation with our doctors. So our one thing with all of this in background is to think through some questions and write them down in advanced so that we could be a little bit more prepared, heading into high emotions, situations like the hospital or a doctor's visit, and making sure we're on the same page as our loved ones as we've just discussed. So here's some questions to think through and write down any answers for like a sort of spiritual assessment for your healthcare.

Speaker 2 (04:04):

Are there things about your spirituality or religion that you would want a doctor to keep in mind while making recommendations to you?

Speaker 1 (04:11):

Are there rituals or items that are comforting to you? If you're going to be in the hospital for any length of time, can you work with a friend or family member to help you with those?

Speaker 2 (04:20):

Are there procedures or medications you're uncomfortable with for spiritual or religious reasons and would not agree to? Are there life extending measures like life support that you would or would not want to be used if the situation arose?

Speaker 1 (04:34):

If you are a member of an organized religion or a spiritual group, is there a specific leader or person who you'd like to attend to you at a hospital setting?

Speaker 2 (04:41):

If this exercise brought up other thoughts, questions, or things you'd want to address with your doctor, write those down too. Remember that this is a tool to help you get the care you deserve.

Speaker 1 (04:51):

Absolutely. Thank you for listening. We'll be continuing the conversation on our next episode. Equity. This is a topic we keep coming back to because it's so important and because the field is constantly changing, there's always something new to learn,

Speaker 2 (05:05):

Follow or subscribe wherever you listen, so you get notified when a new episode is live. Catch you next time.