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December 5, 2017

Two hundred Cedarville University students spent a day early in fall semester learning the “Saline Process” at a one-day interprofessional collaborative course. 

The Saline Process is a training program that provides practical tools to help Christian health care professionals share their faith with patients, all with permission, sensitivity and respect. Cedarville first-year professional pharmacy students attended the event, along with sophomore nursing, allied health, psychology and premed students. 

International Health Services (IHS) Global developed the course to train Christian health care workers how to care for patients’ spiritual needs. The program’s name comes from saline (or water containing salt), the IV solution administered to rehydrate patients and maintain water and salt levels. The Saline Process provides resources to be salt (saline) and light for Jesus while treating the whole person.

“It is important that our students are prepared to care for their patients not just physically and emotionally, but also spiritually,” noted Dr. Emily Laswell, assistant professor of pharmacy practice and chair of the school of pharmacy’s interprofessional education taskforce. “This training prepares them to have positive interactions with patients regarding their faith.”

Students participated in interactive role play and discussion with other health care students. “Having the students work together in interdisciplinary groups helped to show and teach them the different ways that health care professionals help patients,” said Laswell. 

Role play was used to teach students how a patient encounter was going, either poorly or well, depending on the patient’s response. Students were introduced to the Engel Scale, which visualizes the journey from no knowledge of God to spiritual maturity as a Christian believer.

The course involves evidence-based research and answers five questions: 1. Why is faith important to health care? 2. What are the opportunities for and barriers to fulfilling God’s call? 3. What is my part? 4. What tools will help me to cultivate, sow and harvest? 5. Where do I go from here?

“By the end of the course, I hope students were empowered with the ability and confidence to infuse the Saline Process in their interactions within their discipline,” said Dr. Angelia Mickle, dean of the school of nursing and one of 17 certified trainers for the course at Cedarville University. “We are the ones cultivating and sowing, while God is the harvester.”

 

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