How do you incorporate faith into your daily nursing tasks? - page 13

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 incorporate their faith into... Read More

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    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.

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    Simple: I say this every time before I go into work:

    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.
    VivaLasViejas and eagle78 like this.
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    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.
    ZippyGBR and drmorton2b like this.
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    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.
    SMOKEY2112 likes this.
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    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...
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    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.
    SMOKEY2112 likes this.
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    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!!!


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