Would You Pray if your Patient asked? - page 14

If a patient asked you to pray with or for them at the bedside, would you? I had this discussion with some other nurses and the responses were interesting. Some said they would have no problem,... Read More

  1. by   Nighshft
    I have prayed and will continue to pray with and for patients if asked.( often do it even when not asked , just not publicly) I pray to God, as each religion believes in a "higher power" I just feel that this is part of who I am.
  2. by   Youda
    In 1988 there was a study of 393 coronary care client at San Francisco General Hospital. The study showed that clients who were prayed for daily did better. The researcher, cardiologist Randolph Byrd, randomly assigned half of the clients to be prayed for without their knowledge, and the other half not to be prayed for without their knowledge, to eliminate the placebo effect. At the conclusion of the study, it was found that those who were prayed for were five times less likely to need antibiotics, and three times less likely to develop complications.

    After publication of Dr. Byrd's study, he came under sharp criticism from the medical community. Another study was done with alcoholics in 1996. There was no apparent benefit to the group of alcoholics. Yet, in that study, the desired outcomes were more nonconcrete (as opposed to the earlier study which used ATBs or complications as a measurement of the success of prayer), so the results of the 1996 study is non-conclusive, IMHO.

    No matter what the beliefs of my client or the denomination, I would pray with and for them as a comfort measure if nothing else, just as I'd give them a pain pill when in pain. And, like Dr. Byrd, I believe there is enough evidence, even if only anecdotal, to suppose that prayer is effective in healing, even so effective as to sometimes cure.

    Interesting thread. Thanks for reviving it, Vegas!
    Last edit by Youda on Oct 11, '02
  3. by   Agnus
    I am familiar with this study. It is like so many things in medecine. There is a lot that seems to work or not work and we don't know why. If it is safe then there is no valid reason not to try it as it may work even if it is a placebo effect. Placebo effect is not a bad thing.

    There is so much we cannot test out "scientifically" because of the nature and complexity of life, especially human. That does not mean it is not valid.
  4. by   florry
    hello!

    Well, know we should cover spiritual needs, but I cant say I would be familiar with praying together with the pat. if i dint
    share her/his religion....I would asked if there are some out there she/her might think can help, and I would brought that message..
  5. by   whipping girl in 07
    I remember reading this thread back when it was first on the BB, but I couldn't remember if I had responded to it or not.

    I know in my mind I did.

    In a word, yes. However, I have not had anyone ask me to pray with them. I have had patient's families ask me to keep them in my prayers, and I always do.

    I pray for my patients, and if I have a family member or patient mention prayer, I always tell them that I pray for them, 'cause I do.

    I live in a predominantly Catholic area, and I'm not Catholic, so if they wanted me to do a Catholic prayer, we'd be out of luck, since I don't know any. They'd just have to listen to the Southern Baptist prayer ramblings of my youth.
  6. by   tattooednursie
    I have prayed with a couple before who was having a really rough time in the LTC. I had no problem with it. and if I know that the patients are religous I say sometimes "If you say a prayer it may help" If they are not into it I dont even bring it up to them, bt I do pray for them on my own.
  7. by   Agnus
    Generic prayers work. Anyone who prays prays to God. So we can address the prayer to God.
    Any heartfelt words will do on the patient's behalf. Though some religions have sepcific prayers, every religion can and does accept the validity of just honest and straightforward impromptu words from the heart.

    If you don't believe or what ever. Offer your wishes for the patient in the form of a prayer. Let's say you wish for them to not be suffering and the patient's name is Jane. You might say Somthing like, "God, please allow Jane's suffering to be releived."
  8. by   Stargazer
    Originally posted by Agnus
    Generic prayers work. Anyone who prays prays to God. So we can address the prayer to God. You might say Somthing like, "God, please allow Jane's suffering to be releived."
    (sigh) Unless you are Buddhist, or Hindu, or Wiccan--to name just 3 religions which do NOT pray to God.
    Any heartfelt words will do on the patient's behalf. Though some religions have sepcific prayers, every religion can and does accept the validity of just honest and straightforward impromptu words from the heart.
    This, I can agree with--providing the nurse is comfortable doing so OR there is no possibility of providing alternative spiritual support in a timely fashion.
  9. by   Q.
    Originally posted by Stargazer
    (sigh) Unless you are Buddhist, or Hindu, or Wiccan
    Wiccan? Damn, girl, you still impress me with your knowledgebase.
  10. by   Agnus
    I have practiced in the Wiccan tradition. The Wiccan wedding I mentioned earlier was my daughters. Wicca is not practiced without prayer to to God and Goddess. Hindues pray to a number of Gods and Goddesses. Budda and ancestors in Budist tradition are for practical purposes God, and Budist pray to them.

    It may not be God by the name you know Him but God none the less.

    A non theistic religion is athiesm. I call it a religion only because many athiest hold their beliefs with a fervor wothy of any religion. They do not pray to God, as the basis of their belief is that there is no God.
    Last edit by Agnus on Oct 15, '02
  11. by   Q.
    Agnes,

    Isn't God (with a capital G, denoting the difference) usually a Christian diety? The others you mentioned are more so gods and goddesses, not God "proper," as in Greek gods, etc.
  12. by   Vsummer1
    Originally posted by Susy K
    Agnes,

    Isn't God (with a capital G, denoting the difference) usually a Christian diety? The others you mentioned are more so gods and goddesses, not God "proper," as in Greek gods, etc.
    God is also the deity of the Jewish faith, and they are not christians. Allah is translated to god too I think. I think the Chinese have one God also (forget the name).

    Christians don't hold the monopoly on God in the world.

    And in answer to the topic of the thread:
    As for praying with a patient, I would if they asked me too. I would hope that they would be leading though, and would also offer to call someone (chaplain, etc) for them. It just would be the RIGHT thing to do for the patient and that is why I am there, to do the right thing for them.
    Last edit by Vsummer1 on Oct 15, '02
  13. by   Q.
    My statement was more so that to ASSUME that if you mention the term god you are covering all aspects of the religions, you may be entirely incorrect.

    Sure, Allah is a "god" of sorts, but he is referred to as such, not God as Christians (and yes, sorry for leaving out Jews in my initial post) and Jews refer to Him.

    If I were praying to Allah, and you called Allah "God," I think I might have to correct you.

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