religion in the workplace - page 7

There was a ghost story thread about posessed people dying and taunting the nurses after begging them not to let them die. It inspired the question: How many of you are religious, and do you ever... Read More

  1. by   elrondaragorn
    Many sick patients who have been "evangelized," as you call it, welcome and appreciate it.

    The trouble is when you get someone who is hostile to religion. Those people will react badly to the mere suggestion of prayer, and you should respect their wishes to back off if they ask you to back off...no arguments there.

    The problem is like this: There are people who are sick and want to get well, and people who are depressed because of their illness and want the misery to end permanently.

    Are you never going to ask a patient who is sick if they want treatment because of the minority of people who might react badly to your offer of help because they are depressed and want to die? Shame on you for imposing your nursing skills on depressed people and being abusive!

    No, I'm not an advocate of Euthanasia. I regard it as morally reprehensible.

    And, No. I don't believe you're not going to just let people die for fear of offending someone who might be depressed either. You're in a healing profession. It isn't wrong to offer someone help who needs it. it's only wrong to disregard their desicion to refuse treatment, once offered, if they so chose, (with the exception of a request to discontinue nutrition and hydration. It is morally wrong to discontinue nutrition and hydration as long as it is capable of nourishing the patient.)

    Likewise, offering spiritual assistance isn't wrong, only forcing it on them against their will is wrong. Simply asking someone if they would like prayer or spiritual counsel from a representative of their faith, if any, isn't the same as forcing it on them, any more than asking a patient if they'd like treatment is forcing treatment on them.

    It's an all too common error these days that asking someone if they would like something is being treated as if it is a synonym for forcing them to take it whether they want it or not in any matter having to do with religion or morals.

    Offer someone medication=yes Shove it down their throat when they refuse it=no. Offer to get someone spiritual help=yes. Forcibly escort them to a church service and make them listen to a hellfire sermon= no.

    Quote from GeekyRN
    I think people are entitled to whatever beliefs work best for them. If you believe in fallen angels, tooth fairies, God, or not, that's your beeswax.

    If your patient is asking you to pray or engage in a religoius ritual that is compatible with your beliefs here is nothing wrong with that. By all means, go for it.

    The bottom line is knowing when to STHU too. The hospital setting when the patient is NOT asking for your opinions, help, conversion or weird behavior because you see a demon behind every IV pole... Those would top the list of being a great opportunity to SHUT UP, and you shouldn't miss it.

    Believe it or not, there's still some nurses and even managers I work with that can't grasp this.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, a sick patient is NOT the place to evangelize and to do so is arguably abusive.

    And I say these things as a person of faith, incidentally. But I'm a professional RN first.
    Last edit by elrondaragorn on Apr 8, '07
  2. by   nuangel1
    Quote from EarthChild1130
    I've never been asked by a patient to pray with/for them, so it hasn't become an issue yet...however, I am a Pagan (a solitary Witch), and not a Christian, so I'm not sure how I'd work that out just yet...

    As for people praying for ME, I don't care what you do as long as you help save my butt! lol Honestly, 10 years ago I'd have been 'extremely offended and pissed off' that anyone would consider praying to their gods for me when I don't believe in their gods...but over the years I've come to believe that the fact that someone thought enough about me to ask for a little help from their chosen deity is cool with me.

    Just make sure you put some oxygen on me first.
    you made me laugh with the o2 .but dfor me it just counts that they cared enough .i have prayed with pts and families when asked .i also worked icu and was present when priest gave last rites and prayed with family i too would stay but otherwise my religion is not relevant.plus i am more spiritual then religious these days.
  3. by   Cattitude
    Quote from elrondaragorn
    Family and clergy are with a patient at times nurses can't be, aqnd they have seen things you evidently haven't seen. What you are doing is treating what I said as if it applies in all cases when it doesn't. A lot of times it happens only at the very last moments of life and only because a clergyman or family member is there praying for them. Forgive me if I'm wrong about this, but a nurse doesn't sit by a patient's bedside, tell them how much they are loved by the nurse and others arround them, and especially God, or do they?
    Well you are partly wrong. We don't take the place of their family members of course or their clergy.
    BUT, I have certainly been with patients and family in the last moments of life, many times as a matter of fact. What do you think happens during a code? Or right before a code? In the ICU, many times we know a patient is doing poorly and can often call families in. Again, a few times clergy has been involved but most of the time, not.
    Now, don't get me wrong, clergy makes their rounds regularyly but I never saw an increase in those who were dying wanting religion suddenly in their lives. I just didn't. I hope my experiences have showed you a little about nursing that you didn't know. We do a lot!
  4. by   LadyNASDAQ
    I believe we should leave the religion wuith the churches, synagogues,mosques,temples and with the families and their clergy.

    Folks, stay out of the line of fire. Praying with a patient can give you peace but it can also give you a headache later on. You never know if it will bite you in the behind later. It only takes one disgruntled family member to bring you into court and you will have to defend yourself.

    Stay out of politics and religion with patients. Take care of them, follow your Dr.'s orders and don't be walking like a woman or man of the cloth. It can backfire on you. I have seen 2 Nurses in my career be fired for "Ministering" at work. It is a work ethics issue.
  5. by   jojotoo
    Quote from LadyNASDAQ
    I believe we should leave the religion wuith the churches, synagogues,mosques,temples and with the families and their clergy.

    Folks, stay out of the line of fire. Praying with a patient can give you peace but it can also give you a headache later on. You never know if it will bite you in the behind later. It only takes one disgruntled family member to bring you into court and you will have to defend yourself.

    Stay out of politics and religion with patients. Take care of them, follow your Dr.'s orders and don't be walking like a woman or man of the cloth. It can backfire on you. I have seen 2 Nurses in my career be fired for "Ministering" at work. It is a work ethics issue.

    Praying with a patient isn't for ME, it's for the patient!

    How sad that we live in a time that I have to worry about "staying out of the line of fire" when responding to a patient's request for spiritual comfort.
  6. by   blueheaven
    Quote from jojotoo
    Praying with a patient isn't for ME, it's for the patient!

    How sad that we live in a time that I have to worry about "staying out of the line of fire" when responding to a patient's request for spiritual comfort.
    AMEN to the above poster...the key words are "responding to A PATIENT"S request for spiritual comfort." If the person is on a different spiritual path than I am, I try to contact the appropriate person to fill that need.
    I am a spiritual person, as for a denominational name or whatever...just a follower of Jesus. I have NO problem praying with a patient if they or the family requests it. I however do not go out of my way to evangelize my co-workers or patients. If they ask, I will share. I have quietly prayed at the bedside of critically-ill or dying patients, you don't have to be loud to pray.
  7. by   elrondaragorn
    I never said nurses were never present at a death, and just because you haven't seen something doesn't mean it doesn't happen

    Quote from Cattitude
    Well you are partly wrong. We don't take the place of their family members of course or their clergy.
    BUT, I have certainly been with patients and family in the last moments of life, many times as a matter of fact. What do you think happens during a code? Or right before a code? In the ICU, many times we know a patient is doing poorly and can often call families in. Again, a few times clergy has been involved but most of the time, not.
    Now, don't get me wrong, clergy makes their rounds regularyly but I never saw an increase in those who were dying wanting religion suddenly in their lives. I just didn't. I hope my experiences have showed you a little about nursing that you didn't know. We do a lot!
  8. by   elrondaragorn
    Blessed are those who are persecuted. They problably got fired because anti-religious people have distorted the first amendment into freedom FROM religion, rather than freedom OF RELIGIOUS EXPRESSION. if it were my paycheck I'd have taken my employer to court

    Quote from LadyNASDAQ
    I believe we should leave the religion wuith the churches, synagogues,mosques,temples and with the families and their clergy.

    Folks, stay out of the line of fire. Praying with a patient can give you peace but it can also give you a headache later on. You never know if it will bite you in the behind later. It only takes one disgruntled family member to bring you into court and you will have to defend yourself.

    Stay out of politics and religion with patients. Take care of them, follow your Dr.'s orders and don't be walking like a woman or man of the cloth. It can backfire on you. I have seen 2 Nurses in my career be fired for "Ministering" at work. It is a work ethics issue.
  9. by   rentalnurse
    I have a unique situation, i am an ordained pastor (non denom)and a nurse. i dont bring the topic up but if asked i will discuss 'religion'. during a crisis i usually will ask the family if there is someone i can call for them, it is nice working in a hosp with non denom clergy to provide support for staff and families, sometimes i have met the pushy clergy and have worked in a catholic hosp where the nuns say morning and eve prayers over the intercom. right now i wk at gov indian hosp and have no support staff, we are on out own for a lot of things. a few larger hospitals have patient advocates in the er which is nice to have a go between.
  10. by   spotlight4u
    Quote from chadash
    I am so careful about this, it is so important to not infringe on someones religious freedom and impose your own belief system. I can pray silently for someone and still say nothing.
    The other day I fear I overstepped my bounds. A women was crying saying a family member said she had done so many horrible things she could never be forgiven. I told her God was A God of mercy, and we all needed His mercy: there was nothing he would not forgive.
    I guess the cruelty of the family members comments just got me rawled up.

    I don't think you overstepped your bounds by offering HOPE to the hopeless.
  11. by   Suzique99
    I am not religious and I do not believe in a god. I do however understand how important religion is to some people and how prayer has a way of making some people feel better. If someone asks me to pray for them I tell them I will be thinking of them and if they ask me to pray with them I tell them I will sit quietly with them while they pray or I can go get someone who can pray with them. As a nurse I don't feel it would be appropriate for me to try to preach my philosophy to a patient or family at this time. I am more scientifically minded but also spiritual.
  12. by   CRNI-ICU20
    yesterday, I went in to answer the call light of a patient who was being cared for by another co-worker. The patient is/intubated, fully awake, and not able to wean off the vent. He was going to be trached later that day. When I asked him what I could do for him,he gestured that he was too warm, so I pulled back his blankets and just covered his legs with a sheet. I re-arranged his pillow, and placed a cold cloth to his head. When I started to go, he reached for my hand...and with both of his hands, he put my hand to his heart. I asked him if he was okay....he shook his head "no"....I asked him if he was feeling scared, he shook his head "yes"....he then pushed my hand deeper into his chest...next to his heart....as if to say...'please help me....please hold me up'.....so I asked him, "do you want me to pray with you.....and a look of relief spread over his face....and he nodded his head "yes"....so I prayed for him....right there, as he held my hand in his....as tears rolled down his face....when I said, "amen" to a short prayer, he patted my hand, and mouthed "thank you so much".....
    Did he recieve comfort? YES! Was I rewarded as well? YES! because I was given an opportunity to reach out to another person in need, and giving them what they wanted most....human contact and spiritual comfort...
    what could be more wonderful than this?
    If I ever get fired for praying with a patient who has asked me to, then that is the day I will leave nursing for good....because then I will know it no longer is about healing, but about what is politically correct.
  13. by   Multicollinearity
    Quote from CRNI-ICU20
    yesterday, I went in to answer the call light of a patient who was being cared for by another co-worker. The patient is/intubated, fully awake, and not able to wean off the vent. He was going to be trached later that day. When I asked him what I could do for him,he gestured that he was too warm, so I pulled back his blankets and just covered his legs with a sheet. I re-arranged his pillow, and placed a cold cloth to his head. When I started to go, he reached for my hand...and with both of his hands, he put my hand to his heart. I asked him if he was okay....he shook his head "no"....I asked him if he was feeling scared, he shook his head "yes"....he then pushed my hand deeper into his chest...next to his heart....as if to say...'please help me....please hold me up'.....so I asked him, "do you want me to pray with you.....and a look of relief spread over his face....and he nodded his head "yes"....so I prayed for him....right there, as he held my hand in his....as tears rolled down his face....when I said, "amen" to a short prayer, he patted my hand, and mouthed "thank you so much".....
    Did he recieve comfort? YES! Was I rewarded as well? YES! because I was given an opportunity to reach out to another person in need, and giving them what they wanted most....human contact and spiritual comfort...
    what could be more wonderful than this?
    If I ever get fired for praying with a patient who has asked me to, then that is the day I will leave nursing for good....because then I will know it no longer is about healing, but about what is politically correct.
    I'd like to learn how to do this sort of thing, even though I don't believe in any god. All I care about is making the patient feel better, just like the above. That means working from the patient's perception.

    It's a tricky, tricky thing though, not assuming or imposing.

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