How do you incorporate faith into your daily nursing tasks? - page 11

The question is pretty much self-explanatory. I'm getting my BSN in a faith-based, private university with their own hospital. I've observed that there's such a huge difference between nurses who... Read More

  1. by   Ayvah
    Quote from hotscrubs
    Wow! Can't believe this post has ruffled so many feathers. Why are so many people in here so sensitive and take stuff so personal?
    Faith most often connotes with religion/spirituality. Not everyone has religious or spiritual faith. The issue was that the original poster (orangepink) said, that she feels that staff who do not openly show faith are different compared to those who do. See the below quote from the OP in which she clarifies this difference as negative.

    Quote from orangepink
    I noticed some nurses incorporate their faith by praying with their patients together. For example, when one patient was admitted into our unit, one CNA took time out to offer a prayer with the patient and her husband. As I observed, that really meant a lot to the patient.
    I've noticed (for example) this one nurse, who do not pray with her patients, was viewed as rough and uncaring by her patients.

    So I thought that perhaps it is because that CNA incorporates her faith into her work.

    Quote from hotscrubs
    I don't think the question was made to make anyone feel less because they don't belong to a certain group or belief, (maybe the subject is touchy because people feel guilt). I don't know I'm just saying. if a patient is religious and maybe wants to pray, whats wrong with that? Faith and hope have been proven to do miracles and if it helps the patient, we should do what we can. I wouldn't mind praying with my patients and they don't have to be christian, if their muslim or hindu what ever, if they want me to pray with them, sure why not. I had a great nursing instructor in school who said he is not religious at all but doesn't mind praying with patients because it makes them feel better. Thats a good nurse. Not shoving your beliefs down everyones throat, but being open and supportive in all aspects of care. I think it's the nurses that tell patients, "I don't believe in that so I can call someone for you" passing the buck and not being therapeutic. Bad Nurse!! haha
    Many people feel it would compromise their faith to openly pray to a god other than the one they believe in[if they do]. If it doesn't bother you that's fine, but respect that others shouldn't have to do what they feel compromise themselves to do the job. For example, a nurse may believe that abortion goes against her religion, therefore she should not be forced to participate in it for a patient. If you would agree with that nurse's right to opt out of something that goes against her religion, why would you feel that a nurse is bad for not participating in prayer which is not of his/her religion, especially when an alternative is available? Chaplains are the experts educated in anticipating and attending to the spiritual/religious needs of the patients in a sensitive manner. Why do you feel that a nurse is 'passing the buck' by getting an expert involved to give more thorough spiritual care? Why is that not a therapeutic thing to do?

    Quote from hotscrubs
    The post never said that an atheist nurse can't be effective or is less effective, they just said they've noticed a difference between the two. There is no mention if that difference is good or bad so why are we jumping to conclusions here? Why so sensitive? I don't think that post was judgmental at all, I think that if anyone wants to talk faith or religion, people obviously can't handle it.
    See the above clarified quote by the OP as she does specifically mention that she thinks it is a bad thing. It would have been a far, far different thread if the original poster had simply asked "How do you incorporate faith into your nursing practice?"

    Quote from hotscrubs
    Who are you to say that this persons observations are wrong or inaccurate? If the institution they work is some how doing very well and patients are always having a great experience and its so "faith based" that this person can see a difference from this institution compared with another non faith based one, who are you to say that observation doesn't exist? Oh it didn't happen? Whatever! Just because you don't like it doesn't mean you have to hate. Gosh can a person have an opinion in here? Seems like everyone who does gets chewed out.
    Just as you are saying that the original poster can have their views, so too can the respondents have their dissenting views. You are yelling at someone else for their opinion too you know -- just because you don't like it doesn't mean you have to hate . It is good to talk about and challenge other's perceptions.
  2. by   needshaldol
    How any person, nurse or not nurse who can believe that "faith based" is better had better think again. We are all in this together. I can't believe I am reading this dribble. I work at a faith based hospital (catholic) and I am as far from being catholic as one can think. Working at a faith based hospital is just a non-profit and gives away to charity, but........they still make a huge amount of $. If a patient or staff needs help, we call spiritual care and they show up very fast. And the best this catholic hospital........the chaplains are a bit generic. We even have buddist chaplains. One can ask for a specific religion but most just want to see any chaplain and they are all good. I may not believe in God but I believe in my patient. I am not there to pray. I am there to help heal.
  3. by   metalRN
    Quote from hotscrubs
    To answer the REAL question here I'd have to say for myself, I pray everyday before my shift and at night before going to bed. I'm a new grad so really, atheist or not, who can go into that job without fear and without prayer? If any of you do, whew you got some balls!! I don't think it's a good idea to go preaching at everyone and passing out literature unless its asked for, but if a patient is religious and maybe wants to pray, whats wrong with that?
    It's sad to say, but it is typical of "religious" people to wonder how in the world anyone could be offended by the OP question, and imply that those of us without a belief in any god still have some kind of faith. How can you say that an atheist is going to pray before going into work? Pray to what?

    I believe that prayer works for people, only because it gives them the strength to handle what comes their way. I believe that strength comes from within. If believing that some guiding force is out there helping you gets you through the day, fine. But don't assume that everyone feels the same way. I get through my life with a belief in MYSELF and my abilities.

    No atheist in this thread has said that it's NOT ok for a patient to pray. I myself said I will gladly hold a patient's hand while they pray. I will gladly get them what they need to feel better, whether it is physical, emotional or spiritual comfort. But assuming things about a patient's faith and saying things like "God bless you" when you don't have a clue what the patient believes, well, it is offensive.
    Last edit by metalRN on May 13, '11 : Reason: Clarification
  4. by   needshaldol
    MetalrN I agree. I will hold any patients hand and they can "do their thing" as I respect them. And when they are so ill, reaching out and asking me "do you believe in god"? I say "of course" when they have no clue as to what I believe. I want to comfort them. And if they want a prayer meeting in their room, which I have seen, I respect it, close the door and try not to disturb them. BUT when a patient starts to put religion on me.........that is where i get insulted. I do not say anything as they are the "client" these days but I believe my abrubt withdrawal from their room says it all. I respect patients beliefs and I think they ought to respect mine and blessing me, or telling me about being saved, etc. shows ignorance.
  5. by   drmorton2b
    Simple: I say this every time before I go into work:

    [FONT=Georgia, Times New Roman, Times, serif]God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference.
  6. by   cogath
    Quote from lamazeteacher
    YOU DON'T! introduce topics of religion or politics with your patients. It's never appropriate to enter an agenda in conversation, that is intrusive and inappropriate. I was taught that in "Professional Adjustments", in Nursing School over 52 years ago.

    The saying to which I like to refer is, "When the student is ready, the teacher appears". We don't know what state of readiness for religion our patients have, and if they indicate to you that they want to have religion entered into their care plan (or words to that effect), offer them a chaplain or clergy of their choice.

    Administrators get many complaints from patients, and I've never heard or read that a patient complained that they would have appreciated having more religion (or political opinion) incorporated into their care. Patients' weakened physical and mental states make them prime targets for predators of any product, way of thinking, etc. It is unethical for a nurse to take advantage of that to enter his/her own beliefs, unless asked. If asked, be brief and always preface comments with "there is no right or wrong way to be religious". You can't make problems by saying that.

    My own mother was approached by a Christian Scientist practitioner while spending six months in a hospital in 1941, recovering from her mastectomy (no effective antibiotics existed then) and fearing for her life. Her conversion to that faith caused havoc in our family, confusion for me (I was a toddler), and lack of education for me, in my own religion (Jewish). When a playmate later called me a "dirty Jew", I had no idea what that was - but I didn't like being called "dirty", at 8 years of age.

    My father, not overtly observant, said "That's enough, Clara!" to my mother when I ran home crying and they realized what had happened. Then my Jewish religious education began, and I knew and still know who I am. I can still belt out a Christian hymn and the Lord's Prayer with Christians, which surprises some.When approached by proselytizers, I am secure in my faith and say that I prefer it. Our patients want to please us, usually and don't feel strong enough sometimes, to disagree.

    Please keep your religious beliefs to yourselves! Practice what you believe for yourselves, unobtrusively. I was appalled in 1970, when some nurses refused to give nursing care to young women who had to have abortions at a hospital then. My position as Inservice Director then, allowed me to create a group for those patients, for them to voice how they were feeling. I didn't say anything to them about my own private thoughts, and believe that care can be given anyone, that way. If we have a patient with HIV or those who abuse drugs, even though we oppose their lifestyles, do we pick and choose those with whom we will work? We wouldn't work long in these times, if we did that! Incidently, I had a panel for nurses with experts on psychological and physiological aspects of abortion for mothers and neonates. It was sparsely attended, although the nurses could go on hospital time, being paid and close to their worksite.

    When I was the Director of Nursing at a Maternity "Home" in the '60s, the nurses' association asked me to give a speech about "the Unwed Mother". Hundreds of nurses turned out after hours and came far distances for that. I didn't get any judgmental questions at Q&A time, about their ethics, even though 80% relinquished their babies and "sterilization" of post partum mothers (mostly Hispanic) without their knowledge took place at that time. Go figure!

    Nurses need to respect their patients' own state of being, and encourage their own strengths, not implant other ways of thinking. Psychotherapy involves "identification process", while physical care performance does not.
    Accept your patients unconditionally, as they are, no matter how derranged they seem. That's the way to love and care for others, that works!
    Thank you for writing such a wonderful post. This is exactly how I feel.
  7. by   needshaldol
    Agree with above.........but I did refuse to take care of ONE patient my entire career. Why? Because we were chatting and I asked him about his accent and he was German. After more chit chat he told me he was a nazi and proud of it. For all I care they could have fired me, but I refused him.
  8. by   ZippyGBR
    Quote from iteachob
    Well. Where do I say you have to pray with them? Furthermore, where do I say that someone who doesn't practice a religion is not educated in it?

    It really gets me sometimes....when people attribute things to me that I never said. Nice attempt, though.

    Please, have a look at post # 49 for some real condescending attitude and #81 (if the chaplain can't ask.....I'm guessing nurses can't either?)
    post 81 was mine , yes we (as Nurses) do ask about religion and enter it on the Nursing Notes and into the Admission message on PAS , we also ask patients if we can contact the relevant member of the chaplaincy team, one particulat member of the chaplaincy team does regularly walk around the units engaging with patient but with a secular / ecumenical view towards ministry as a hospital chaplain ( reflecting also his non conformist christian background and ordination)

    the issue arose when the chaplain belonging to a Certain Christian Denomination took it upon themselves to find out how many people in hospital had stated that particular denomination and then to tend to 'his ' flock ... this particular denomination being one that is very good at guilt tripping those who do not follow certain practices and do not regularly attend services, take communion only within that church and only with those of that church and who are required to meet with a member of the priesthood and disclose activities which may require absolution ...

    The actions of this chaplain in 'forcing himself' on patients resulted in complaints from people while they had stated that denomination we not currently practising and/or had become disillusioned with the scandal ridden heirarchy of the denomination and it's less than logical pronouncements over certain issues affecting the third world ... when the chaplain of that denomination was attempting to 'force' them back into the fold, at a time they felt really rather vulnerable through illness or injury.

    There is no place for active evangelism or the onerous and intimidating methods some denominations use against those who have 'strayed' in healthcare environments... oddly enough the chaplains aligned to other Christian denominations and the Muslim chaplains have no problem with this - they also recognise the importance of the secular / ecumenical ministry of a hospital chaplain , - slightly different with faiths other than common Christian denominations and Islam as we don't have staff chaplains from other faiths - instead having links with the local 'parish' equivalent - this is down to demographics in our local community...
  9. by   metalRN
    Quote from needshaldol
    Agree with above.........but I did refuse to take care of ONE patient my entire career. Why? Because we were chatting and I asked him about his accent and he was German. After more chit chat he told me he was a nazi and proud of it. For all I care they could have fired me, but I refused him.
    I don't blame you for that.

    I used to work at a prison, and this one inmate had swastikas and other "white power" type things tattooed on him. Several of the other nurses saw these and immediately did not care to help him (he was having difficulty breathing). However, although I don't agree with that philosophy, my job is to provide health care to this man, which I did. No more, no less.

    However, if he had started spouting off about being proud of it, I may not have been so quick to provide him some relief. So I completely understand your refusal to take care of this proud nazi.
  10. by   eagle78
    Quote from FlyingScot
    Of course there is a reason to incorporate my faith into my nursing job. My faith is not something I wear just on Sunday it is part of who I am. However, incorporating my faith into my job as a nurse NEVER means forcing my beliefs on anyone...EVER. I'm tired of people assuming that this is what it means based on interaction with a very small sample of people. I incorporate my faith by praying that God will guide my hands when I'm doing a difficult IV stick, I pray that God will grant me the grace to put aside my feelings and show mercy to the patient that has spent the entire shift referring to me a a mother------- b--ch. I can assure you if I responded out of myself it wouldn't be kind. I pray for patience when dealing with staff who JUST DON'T GET IT after explaining something to them a million times. I, by nature, am an impatient person. Not something I am proud of but it's the truth. I am a very flawed human being with strong opinions and a temper to go with them. I don't always need help being kind and caring but sometimes I do and that is what my faith is there for. It helps me when things are just too much for my human side to handle. If you don't feel the need for it...good for you but do not denigrate me by implying that the fact that you don't need it makes you somehow better. All my patients know at the end of the day is that they were cared for by someone who was willing to go the extra mile for them and that's what matters.
    Yes sir, that is me. I need my faith, it is an intircate part of me. I am not a nurse, yet, but I can relate to the posters point. I have a temper, I am very inclined to step up if I feel challenged. That is my human nature and my faith keeps that tigress from exposing her claws when diplomacy is a better method. I read my scriptures every morning before I leave for the day, I feel naked without them.

    That is not to say that I look down or judge anyone who does not have faith. It is faith that also reinforces that respect for other peoples opinions, choices and perspectives. Flawed, yes I am, but I have my scriptures, my God and my faith in him to help me overcome those flaws. This is what I believe will help me to love and care for all of his children. Be Blessed!!!