religion in the workplace - page 8

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   NURSJADED
    Quote from multicollinarity
    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.

    I think its just a matter of being where/when/what you're patient needs at the time. There's nothing wrong with asking your patient if they'd like you to pray with them. They'll say no, if they don't want you to. You can always ask them if they'd just like you to be with them and think positive thoughts if they're not a religious person. Its not rocket science. I don't know why so many are so quick to attach negative connotations to prayer because it's really not as though you're asking a patient to commit to anything. You're just asking them if they'd like for you to participate in their hope.:spin:
  2. by   Multicollinearity
    Quote from NURSJADED
    I think its just a matter of being where/when/what you're patient needs at the time. There's nothing wrong with asking your patient if they'd like you to pray with them. They'll say no, if they don't want you to. You can always ask them if they'd just like you to be with them and think positive thoughts if they're not a religious person. Its not rocket science. I don't know why so many are so quick to attach negative connotations to prayer because it's really not as though you're asking a patient to commit to anything. You're just asking them if they'd like for you to participate in their hope.:spin:
    I recall seeing a study done on healthcare workers offering to pray with patients and patients' perceptions. Some patients got worried and thought they must be sicker than they thought. I do recall that is was more men than women who felt this way. This was a while ago, so I can't link the study.

    So I do think it can be not always so simple. It probably varies by geography, too.
  3. by   laughing weasel
    I would be flattered if someone cared enough to pray for/with me no matter what they they were praying to. I would ask before praying aloud to a patient. This would be out of respect for their beliefs. I have never been shy about discussing my beliefs but I feel that we should be there to provide whatever support and care we can for our pt. mentally,physically and yes even spiritually. we have to be very careful not to impose our preferences or beliefs on them but that doesnt mean we shouldnt be there for them. it is a fine line and if you are not comfortable with it that is ok also just try to be as respectful as you can.
  4. by   btjaj89
    I always pray especially when asked. I have been fortunate to have been allowed to do that.
    I am only a nursing student at present (4 months and 9 days to go) but have been a phlebotomist for several years. Above all I am a child of God. It is like a mini ministry for me, I used to be known as the praying phlebotomist..
    I still work part time until I am out of school, and just yesterday I had to go to a nursing home for stat labs and the patient had told her daughter to kiss because it was time, needless to say the family was on edge and upset- so when I asked them if they wanted me to pray before I left- they welcomed it.
  5. by   elrondaragorn
    Please don't misunderstand this. I'm not saying that having an athiest pray with someone is a bad thing. Holding my hand so I'm less scared is a good thing, especially if you're doing it while I'm praying, but from my perspective, if I'm a patient in your hospital, and I believe there is a God, and that he will listen to others joining their prayers to mine to talk to a real person about my situation, a God who can help me, and you lead me to believe you are praying to him when you're actually not because you don't believe, then I'm not getting the help I need and it would be best to call my pastor while continuing to hold my hands while he gets there.

    Likewise I might feel threatened if they are praying to a different God than I am because I believe there are evil spiritual forces that can decieve people into thinking they are benign and helpful spirits that pose as other 'gods.'


    Quote from multicollinarity
    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.
  6. by   elrondaragorn
    A patient might think they are on their way out medically if they aren't used to prayer outside of a crisis. All you have to do is say: I've found that it helps people who are suffering if I pray with them. If you'd like me to pray with you or call someone from your religious affiliation to come and sit by your bed a while, I'd be more than happy to do so.

    The second part is important, because if a person feels a need to make his peace with God and knows he can only do that through his pastor, in the case of a Catholic, his pastor is the one who really needs to be helping him.

    Quote from multicollinarity
    I recall seeing a study done on healthcare workers offering to pray with patients and patients' perceptions. Some patients got worried and thought they must be sicker than they thought. I do recall that is was more men than women who felt this way. This was a while ago, so I can't link the study.

    So I do think it can be not always so simple. It probably varies by geography, too.
  7. by   sweetbeet
    Quote from elrondaragorn
    Please don't misunderstand this. I'm not saying that having an athiest pray with someone is a bad thing. Holding my hand so I'm less scared is a good thing, especially if you're doing it while I'm praying, but from my perspective, if I'm a patient in your hospital, and I believe there is a God, and that he will listen to others joining their prayers to mine to talk to a real person about my situation, a God who can help me, and you lead me to believe you are praying to him when you're actually not because you don't believe, then I'm not getting the help I need and it would be best to call my pastor while continuing to hold my hands while he gets there.

    Likewise I might feel threatened if they are praying to a different God than I am because I believe there are evil spiritual forces that can decieve people into thinking they are benign and helpful spirits that pose as other 'gods.'
    Great thread.....

    So do you tell the patient you will get a member of clergy and actually explain that you are not Christian out of respect for their beliefs? (I'm a believer in Buddhism). I believe a prayer is a prayer is a prayer no matter what religion, it's all good. But at the same time I don't want to offend the patient and upset them as some do hold their religious beliefs very highly.
  8. by   EmilyUSFRN
    Quote from sweetbeet
    Great thread.....

    So do you tell the patient you will get a member of clergy and actually explain that you are not Christian out of respect for their beliefs? (I'm a believer in Buddhism). I believe a prayer is a prayer is a prayer no matter what religion, it's all good. But at the same time I don't want to offend the patient and upset them as some do hold their religious beliefs very highly.
    I have been wondering the same thing. I have been approached by people in the grocery store, by people I was working with doing eye exams, etc. etc. etc. asking ME if I had found Jesus? My question then is-- how do you dodge that one? I practice Buddhism and is a personal belief. Here, in the deep south, ehh-- not taken incredibly well. I have been caught off guard many times for not only being asked, but then before answering being told that I am going to H*ll because I am wearing Adidas sneakers-- think the mom in WaterBoy. A few times things like this have happened. What is the best way to handle a situation like this? Eluding the subject or being honest about my beliefs and practices?
    Obviously, not by putting my own beliefs on someone, just asking how did/have you responded if put into this position?
  9. by   Multicollinearity
    Quote from elrondaragorn
    A patient might think they are on their way out medically if they aren't used to prayer outside of a crisis. All you have to do is say: I've found that it helps people who are suffering if I pray with them. If you'd like me to pray with you or call someone from your religious affiliation to come and sit by your bed a while, I'd be more than happy to do so.

    The second part is important, because if a person feels a need to make his peace with God and knows he can only do that through his pastor, in the case of a Catholic, his pastor is the one who really needs to be helping him.
    Also, even different denominations within Christianity are markedly different regarding public prayer. For example, an Episcopalian might feel quite differently about this compared to a Pentecostal or Southern Baptist.
  10. by   Multicollinearity
    Quote from EmilyUSFRN
    I have been wondering the same thing. I have been approached by people in the grocery store, by people I was working with doing eye exams, etc. etc. etc. asking ME if I had found Jesus? My question then is-- how do you dodge that one? I practice Buddhism and is a personal belief. Here, in the deep south, ehh-- not taken incredibly well. I have been caught off guard many times for not only being asked, but then before answering being told that I am going to H*ll because I am wearing Adidas sneakers-- think the mom in WaterBoy. A few times things like this have happened. What is the best way to handle a situation like this? Eluding the subject or being honest about my beliefs and practices?
    Obviously, not by putting my own beliefs on someone, just asking how did/have you responded if put into this position?
    Just respond, "Have you all lost him again?!"

    Sorry. I couldn't resist.
  11. by   sweetbeet
    Quote from EmilyUSFRN
    I have been wondering the same thing. I have been approached by people in the grocery store, by people I was working with doing eye exams, etc. etc. etc. asking ME if I had found Jesus? My question then is-- how do you dodge that one? I practice Buddhism and is a personal belief. Here, in the deep south, ehh-- not taken incredibly well. I have been caught off guard many times for not only being asked, but then before answering being told that I am going to H*ll because I am wearing Adidas sneakers-- think the mom in WaterBoy. A few times things like this have happened. What is the best way to handle a situation like this? Eluding the subject or being honest about my beliefs and practices?
    Obviously, not by putting my own beliefs on someone, just asking how did/have you responded if put into this position?
    As far as being approached outside a clinical setting, I simply have thanked them for their concern and told them to have a nice day! (Kill 'em with kindness)
  12. by   roxandzoe
    Quote from 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
    Excuse me, who is "anti-religious" and when did they "distort" the First Amendment? Last time I checked, the First Amendment applies to every American citizen, not just the religious ones. Freedom of religious expression includes the right to not express any religion at at all. Look it up.

    BTW, the word "atheism" literally means "no religion", not "anti-religion". "Theism" is the root word for religion, "a" is the prefex meaning "no" or "absences of".
  13. by   Multicollinearity
    Quote from roxandzoe
    BTW, the word "atheism" literally means "no religion", not "anti-religion". "Theism" is the root word for religion, "a" is the prefex meaning "no" or "absences of".
    This is an important distinction.

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