Faith and Health Case Study


In the case study of Faith and Health, we learned about the Muslim patient Abdul Hadi and the nurse Anna. We learned how because of his faith Abdul Hadi is facing challenges. We will identify the issues in this paper. We will discuss strategy to resolve the issues faced by Abdul Hadi and we will determine how the hospital can increase their cultural strategic thinking.

Keywords: stereotyping, generalization, cultural intelligence

 Using what you know about cultural intelligence, analyze the situation in terms of national, regional and individual levels.

At the national level, Germany has 3 million Muslim people per the case study. Abdul Hadi is one of the 3 million Muslims and he went through a surgery. His nurse Anna is not a Muslim and she is not familiar with Abdul Hadi’s culture. The issue here is there is the cultural difference at play at the individual level. Anna knows her job well, but she does not know much about the Islamic faith. It is not really Anna’s fault since the nation or region does not have that many Muslims, Anna might not have to care for a Muslim patient before. So she never got an opportunity to work on the cultural difference she had with an individual who follows the Islamic faith. Anna will have to develop cultural intelligence to understand Abdul Hadi, to understand his faith better. Then she will be able to serve him better.

 For each of the five behaviors and needs outlined, find a strategy, or strategies, to resolve the issues.  Utilize the basics of developing and practicing cultural strategic thinking within the Unit 2 reading.

            Let us outline the five behaviors then we will find strategies to resolve the issues.  

Abdul Hadi needs to cleanse himself before prayers, but he seeks for help from a male nurse to cleanse or bathe him

Abdul Hadi cannot have alcohol or pork, not even with medications

Abdul Hadi has dietary restrictions and he cannot have anything from the cafeteria that has pork, gelatin or lard in them.

 Hadi gets visitors, and other patients who share the room with him feels disturbed by the noise Hadi’s visitors make.

Hadi has to pray at specific times, and Anna needs to help to get up and pray, but those specific times Anna is usually assisting other patients.

             Since Anna is taking care of Abdul Hadi whose faith is not known to Anna, she needs to learn and understand why Hadi needs a man to help him cleanse, or when is the time for his prayers. And what items in the cafeteria does not have pork, gelatin or lard in them so Hadi does not have a problem. Peer learning can help her in this situation. Someone who has experience of caring for a Muslim man can be of great help to her.  Or she can try to find a mentor who can guide her on this.

            Gaining cultural knowledge would be helpful too. Hadi has a big family who visits him often. Anna needs to understand the reason. She can understand and empathize with them and politely tell the visitors not to make noise and make them aware that the other patients are getting disturbed.

            Staying positive is also very critical for Anna, as Hadi might appear to be needy or demanding. Anna should not get stressed and understand that once she understands the needs she will gain control over it.

            Being an observer is also required when Anna has an opportunity. She might be busy with work. But, observing Hadi’s family she can learn their culture and may be interacting with them she can find out their dietary preferences, so she would know what to get Hadi, that does not have pork or alcohol.

            Active listening is another strategy that will help Anna. She can understand what Hadi wants to eat or does not want to eat. And when he has to pray, or when to find a male nurse to assist him to cleanse.

 Determine how the hospital can increase their cultural strategic thinking to ensure patients are addressed with care and compassion regardless of their individual culture and beliefs.

            First of all the hospital can spread awareness. Help the nurses and doctors understand the differences people from different cultural background or faith have.

Hiring one mentor who can spread cultural knowledge can really help the hospital staff, in this case specifically the nurses.

Then, the hospital can help the nurses gain better cultural intelligence by providing training to be more observant and help them develop better active listening skills. So that the nurses can listen to patients not only from other faith, in fact, they will be able to be better effective for any patient.

One more thing, the hospital should encourage the nurses for the good work they do. The management should understand, it could be hard and demanding for those nurses too, so little appreciation and encouragement will help the nurses navigate daily work life better.

The hospital should train nurses in a way that female patients are given care by female nurses and male nurses care for men.

 Dr. Joseph Betancourt, director of multicultural education at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston cautioned that there are many variations in practice among Muslims. So healthcare providers should not generalize or make assumptions about patients’ beliefs and practices. According to him, it is helpful for doctors to know something about Muslim traditions and having a better understanding usually improves communication and may actually save time (Rabin, 2010).

There are few other examples too for this hospital – Franklin Hospital in Valley Stream on Long Island, offers patients halal food in keeping with Muslim dietary rules, The hospital might take include intake questionnaires where patients can list their religious concerns and values. The hospital can provide more modest hospital gowns or give the patients an option of wearing their own clothing (Rabin, 2010).

The hospital can hire nurses who speak Arabic and Urdu and make prayer rugs available and setting space aside for prayer rooms (Selvam, 2013).


Rabin, R C ( Nov, 2010). Respecting Muslim Patients’ needs. Retrieved from Selvam, A ( July, 2013). Making room for Faith. Retrieved from