Nursing and Religion

  1. I was wondering does your religion (any) help you in your career as a nurse. I just lost my grandfather and I know that my faith (I'm a christian) helped TREMENDOUSLY in coping with my grandfathers death. For anyone that's religious, an aethist, or agnostic(sp) how do you cope with death and extreme sickness as a nurse? Just wondering
    Last edit by Rootbear76 on Feb 16, '03
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  2. 31 Comments

  3. by   sunnygirl272
    being an atheist or agnostic does not mean one does not believe in caring.
  4. by   Rootbear76
    Originally posted by sunnygirl272
    being an atheist or agnostic does not mean one does not believe in caring.
    I understand that, but I asked how do religious, atheists, or agnostics cope with death and sickness. I know you don't have to believe in God to care about people, that's common sense, animals care for their young.
    Last edit by Rootbear76 on Feb 16, '03
  5. by   Darlene K.
    Sunnygirl, I agree!
  6. by   sunnygirl272
    Originally posted by Just_wondering
    I understand that, but I asked how do religious, atheists, or agnostics copes with death and sickness.
    ummm...the same as anyone else?
  7. by   Rootbear76
    Originally posted by sunnygirl272
    ummm...the same as anyone else?
    Last edit by Rootbear76 on Feb 16, '03
  8. by   VivaLasViejas
    Personally, I don't know how anyone in the human medical field can be an atheist or agnostic.......we are truly "fearfully and wonderfully made". I've learned such an appreciation of the way God wired our bodies together in the years I've been in nursing, and I think it's miraculous that more things DON'T go wrong with us. I'm not particularly churchgoing---as a lapsed Catholic, I consider myself more "spiritual" than conventionally religious---but whenever I witness a death or see a new life come into the world, I'm once again in awe of God and all His creations. I also have no problem praying with patients if that is what comforts them, or joining in ceremonies at the bedside when asked to by the patient, family or minister. It doesn't matter what my comfort level is; I'm there to help the patient and yes, to serve God as well.
  9. by   sunnygirl272
    Originally posted by Just_wondering
    Anyway I guess this question is over your head!
    oh..you are absolutely right...i shall now remove myself from this thread, as i am too stupid to comprehend.....
  10. by   Rootbear76
    Originally posted by mjlrn97
    Personally, I don't know how anyone in the human medical field can be an atheist or agnostic.......we are truly "fearfully and wonderfully made". I've learned such an appreciation of the way God wired our bodies together in the years I've been in nursing, and I think it's miraculous that more things DON'T go wrong with us. I'm not particularly churchgoing---as a lapsed Catholic, I consider myself more "spiritual" than conventionally religious---but whenever I witness a death or see a new life come into the world, I'm once again in awe of God and all His creations. I also have no problem praying with patients if that is what comforts them, or joining in ceremonies at the bedside when asked to by the patient, family or minister. It doesn't matter what my comfort level is; I'm there to help the patient and yes, to serve God as well.
    Beautifully Stated!!! I'm not "religious" myself per se, I'm Christian so it's more of a relationship with God that following 10 millions rules you'll break anyway. I too am in awe of God's creation, just reading about how complex the human body is, is TRULY AMAZING!
  11. by   Rootbear76
    Originally posted by sunnygirl272
    oh..you are absolutely right...i shall now remove myself from this thread, as i am too stupid to comprehend.....
    My goodness I was just asking a simple question and you brought up caring! I didn't ask if you don't believe in God do you care about people, I asked how do you cope with death and sickness, so I figured it went over your head because you brought up something irrelevant! Oh well, anyway the question remains.
  12. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I don't know about *RELIGION* helping anyone in nursing practice, but I do believe w/all my heart, SPIRITUALITY is invaluable. You don't have to be religious to be spiritual and let that guide your daily practice, as all areas of life. Just my belief anyhow as someone who has basically shrugged off religion my personal life. I am always on a constant quest of spirituality, and open to many possiblities and ways of learning.
  13. by   SmilingBluEyes
    That quote about the question" being over one's head", directed at Sunnygirl, I believe, is VERY pompous and a huge reason I have walked away from conventional religion in my search for spirituality. It was VERY presumpuous and arrogant.

    I am out of here as this thread will be way too hot to handle soon enough. Wonder why we cannot entertain other ideas and points of view w/o resorting to insults? Are debating skills THAT weak in some people?
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Feb 16, '03
  14. by   Stargazer
    After working with approximately 100 different nurses over a 12-year period dealing with life-and death situations daily in critical care units, I can honestly say the subject of religion came up exactly once in all that time, and it was initiated by a Wiccan who told me she sometimes said protection spells (? sorry if that's the wrong terminology) for her sicker patients.

    As a lapsed Catholic-verging-on-agnostic ICU nurse, I don't ever recall thinking about religion when it came to caring for my patients. I did what I could to keep them stable or healthy, and when I couldn't, I did what I could to alleviate their suffering. I gave patients and families choices, respect, and dignity. In other words, I cared for them more from a holistic model rather than a religious one.

    As far as death and dying is concerned--as I said, I headed it off where I could. When I couldn't, I tried to make my patients comfortable and make their death as positive an experience as I could, letting them have as much control as feasible, offering them privacy and time with their loved ones. Working in a big-city teaching hospital and seeing technology often abused to keep patients alive no matter what in order to keep patients alive another day, or another hour, I saw very clearly that death is not always the worst thing that can happen to someone.

    I think everyone tends to see things through filters based on their beliefs and experiences. If you are a religious person, you will see everything through that filter. If you are a very political person, you tend to see things through that filter. I think that the vast majority of nurses see and treat patients holistically regardless of their religious beliefs or lack thereof, and therefore you're not probably going to be able to tell who is religious and who's not based on the care they give.

    And yes, implying that the topic of conversation was over Sunny's head was rude and insulting, not to mention entirely inaccurate.

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